This research network seeks to promote mutual exchange and research on migration and minorities. While the research network focuses on work with a sociological perspective, we recognize that disciplinary boundaries have become blurred and encourage exchange with social scientists from other disciplines. The research network organizes regular seminars, workshops and conferences, and runs a moderate mailing lists to achieve its aims.
Migration and the relationship between the majority population and minority groups have become a defining feature of today’s society. The arrival of immigrants — some permanent, others temporarily — highlights the social construction of group boundaries, their role in marking social differences, and how discriminatory practices and social meaning can result. There are now many residents in Western societies that have grown up and socialized in their country of residence, yet remain outsiders because of their citizenship or their ancestor’s migration: Questions of immigration increasingly become questions of minority groups.
In recent years, research on migration and minorities has increased greatly, but many contributions problematize the presence of immigrants and minorities, re-using political terms uncritically. This research network encourages high-quality research on all aspects of migration and minorities, both qualitative and quantitative in nature. Work focusing on the intersection between minority statuses — migration, minority, gender, class, location — are particularly welcomed, as are methodological contributions to the field.
The research network was established during the Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association in October 1985.
Members of the research network have traditionally had frequent and close contact with members of the Swiss Political Science Association and the Swiss Ethnological Society.