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Why Do People Migrate?
Why do People Migrate? Forced Migration (Involuntary)- imposing authority or power producing involuntary migration that cannot be understood based on theories Voluntary Migration
Forced Migration • Atlantic Slave Trade (1500 s) – Tens of millions of Africans carried from their homes to South America, the Caribbean and North America to be sold as slaves and work on plantations. The slave trade did huge amounts of damage to the African societies and communities changing the cultural and ethnic geography of Brazil, Middle Americas, and the United States
Slaves Reaching British North America, 1601 -1867 (in 1, 000 s) Slide graphic courtesy of Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Hofstra University
Forced Migration The Trail of Tears, 1838: In the 1800 s the U. S. government took lands from thousands of Native Americans and forcibly moved them to other areas of the country, far from their homelands.
Does forced migration still exist today? In the form of countermigration Governments send back migrants caught entering their countries illegally Ex: in the 1990 s U. S. sent back Haitian arrivals from Florida Haitian Refugees
Voluntary Migration When a migrant weighs his options and choices in response to a perceived opportunity, and the result is movement When a person, family or group of people make a voluntary decision to migrate, push and pull factors come into play. Push factors- negative conditions and perceptions that cause people to want to leave a place Pull factors- positive conditions and perceptions that attract people to a new place
RAVENSTEIN’S LAWS OF MIGRATION Ernst Ravenstein: - Answered the question- Why do people volunteer to migrate?
1 st Law of Migration “Every migration flow generates a return or countermigration” In other words every outflow of migration produces an inflow. Migration is not just the number of people leaving the area but also those coming in. Therefore “net migration” is the number of immigrants minus the number of emigrants. By considering both factors of the “net migration” equation you see the actual growth of the city or suburban area.
2 nd Migration Law “The Majority of migrants move a short distance” A relatively self-explanatory law of migration. Migrating from small city to yet another small city, such as from Coppell to Austin, is more common than moving internationally. Since migration typically infers “crossing of state and/or political boundaries” this law is extremely helpful to the understanding of migration patterns.
3 rd Migration Law “Migrants who move longer distances tend to choose big-city destinations” Another law that is fairly obvious; It is far more plausible for someone to move to France for the purpose of living and working in Paris than it is for them to move to France solely to enjoy the French countryside. Typically when people move longer distances their destinations are in or near an urban area.
4 th Migration law “Urban residents are less migratory than inhabitants of rural areas” Those located in heavy industrial or urban areas are more likely to stay there. This migration law is closely related to the costs advantages/disadvantages of urban residents compared to those of rural ones.
5 th Migration Law “Families are less likely to make international moves than young adults” Young adults have less obligations and transportation costs to worry about when compared to those of a small family. It is much easier for them to pick up and leave the U. S. on a work permit than it would be for a family to do so. Aside from the problem of cost it takes more time and effort to move say four people to a new country than it does to move just one.
Migration Factors Also known as “push” and “pull” factors these are the reasons for the international migration of thousand the world over. These factors include: Economic conditions, political factors, heated conflict and/or civil war, environmental conditions, culture and traditions, and technological advances. Net Migration of the UK In some situations people will migrate, not for just one, but for a combination of those reasons.
Economic Conditions The most common reason for international migration in the past few decades has been to escape poverty. Recently America has seen a great deal of illegal immigration from the Mexican border. Most of these immigrants are people trying to escape the poverty and get better-paying jobs in America.
Atlanta Economic factors can also affect the migration patterns within developed states. Within the U. S. the still growing information sectors of Atlanta has attracted many New Yorkers to the city for job-related(economic) reasons. Another reason for this influx of migration to Atlanta over the past decade is the cheaper cost of living.
Political Circumstances As a citizen of the U. S. its easy to underestimate the benefits of an unimpressive government but many people migrate for that very reason. In recent decades thousands have fled their home counties to escape the growing influence of communism. Most of the time their destination is that of the U. S. and because of this their history has become linked with our own.
Vietnam and Cuba serve as classic examples of how political changes affect migration flows. During the 80 s more than a hundred thousand Cubans left their island nation in order to escape the dictatorship of a Communist leader. In what is today known as the “Mariel Boat Lift” this mass migration of Cubans now accounts for the “little Havana” and large populations clusters of Cubans in Miami and south Florida. “Mariel Boat lift”
Armed Conflict and Civil War People living in war torn countries are known to migrate elsewhere to escape the violence and political instability. This is especially true when the instability of the country leads to armed conflict that can bring injury and/or death to its citizens. Such examples of forced migration can be found numerous times throughout history.
During the 90 s civil war erupted in Rwanda between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes resulting what was essentially a genocide. This complete massacre was not acknowledged as genocide by the UN until too late in the conflict. The hostilities here created an enormous outflow of migration into the neighboring countries of Zaire and Tanzania.
Environmental Conditions Of all the reasons for international migration the environment is rarely a reason for traveling such extreme distances. Generally this type of migration is limited to certain events in history as well as specific areas around the globe. The most common example today is among populations located around the Pacific Ring of Fire where earthquakes and Volcanic eruptions are frequent.
As stated before very rarely is the environment viewed as so hazardous to their family and personal welfare that they should move but occasionally this does occur. The best example is the Irish Potato famine of the 1840 s which forced thousands to move because the environment would no longer provide them with food. Potato Famine Memorial in Dublin, Ireland
Culture and Traditions When people fear that their way of life is being threatened they will move to a location they view as invulnerable. This may also exemplify certain groups who keep themselves separate of mainstream society. The Amish in particular can be seen as a people who migrate to certain areas to avoid outside influence that may threaten their well preserved lifestyle.
There are several international examples of this phenomenon throughout history. The movement of Jews from the former Soviet Union into Israel. The mass migration of the Muslims of India into Pakistan once it was declared an Islamic State. Any movement by a group of people who’s culture or lifestyle is not one which is globally(or universally) accepted by society
Power Relationships Gender, ethnicity, race and money are all factors in the decision to migrate. Employers who hire migrant workers often have perceptions of what kinds of migrants would best work for them. Women in the Middle East hire Southeast Asian women to work as domestic servants, housekeepers, and nannies. Hiring different ethnicities from abroad establishes a power relationship between the female head of house hold and employee.
Technological Advances The technological advances that have been made in the past century make migration no where near as hazardous as it once was. Such advances in technology actually have stimulated migration worldwide. The invention of the airplane for example has made many areas of the world more accessible than they once were.
Chain Migration Chinatown in San Francisco A series of migrations within a family or defined group of people. Often begins with one family member who sends money to bring other family members to the new location. Results in the clustering of people from a specific region into certain neighborhoods or small towns.
Step Migration A series of shorter, less extreme migrations from a person’s place of origin to final destination Moving from a farm to a village, to a town, and finally to a city
Sources Internet Sources: http: //www. harpercollege. edu/mhealy/migrat/xp/mgraven. htm http: //www. csiss. org/classics/content/90 http: //www. revision-notes. co. uk/revision/171. html http: //family. jrank. org/pages/1170/Migration-Theories-Migration. html APHG Textbook: Seventh Edition http: //compassioninpolitics. wordpress. com/2007/09/28/sexual-harassment-hate-speechand-jena-6/ http: //oceanexplorer. noaa. gov/explorations/05 fire/background/volcanism/media/tectonics _world_map. html http: //thunderations. wordpress. com/2010/03/13/the-irish-did-save-civilization-thencivilization-ground-them-down/ http: //www. thegeminiweb. com/babyboomer/? cat=8 http: //educononline. com/2008/11/07/ict-futureschoolssingapore-the-moe-and-the-amish/ http: //abagond. wordpress. com/2010/05/21/the-transatlantic-slave-trade/ http: //cubaninlondon. blogspot. com/2009/01/lattentat-yasmina-khadra-review. html De Blij, H. J, Erin Fouberg, and Alexander Murphy. Human Geography People, Place, and Culture 9 th Edition. New Jersey: Wiley, 2009
Forced Migration A refugee is “a person who has wellfounded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. ” However despite this widely accepted definition the line between voluntary migrant and an involuntary one is often hard to read. For this reason it was necessary to catalogue 3 distinguishing factors that set the involuntary migrants apart from others. The Atlantic Slave Trade was a form of Forced Migration
“Most refugees make their first step on foot, by bicycle, wagon, or open boat” In this scenario the effects of technological advances have no precedence. Those making their way to an area of safety are most likely to use these means of transportation. This is because(or should be because) circumstances at the time prevent them from using anything better. Refugees via boat
“Most refugees move without any more tangible property than they can carry or transport with them” Due to the urgent circumstances of their situation a refugee would only have time to bring what they absolutely need(food, money, and the close on they are wearing; most likely nothing more). Anything else would slow them down and prevent them from making it to an area of safety. Migrants with moving vans and a great deal of personal belongings on them are clearly not going to be considered refugees.
“Refugees move without the official documents that accompany channeled migration. ” Chances are a refugee would not be carrying a passport or ID of any kind. Lack of identification is taken as a sign of being a refugee, or “displaced” person.
The Refugee Problem Across the globe refugees have generated “major social problems, ethnic strife, and even environmental problems” Countries unprepared to take on the inflow of migrants suffer because they don’t have the resources to take care of the extra people. It is problem that grows every year and the UN is unsure of a solution.
Sub-Saharan Africa This portion of the world not only contains the most third world countries of any region of the earth but also the most refugees. Ethnic borderlines run through many of the African countries in this region causing clashes between the Islam Arabs of the North and the Christian/Traditional South. The most notable conflict in the region is the one raging in Sudan, which has recently started to get attention from American media. The introduction of the “Lost Boys”, Sudanese refugees trying to make a better life in America, has shed some light on the issues pertaining to that region of the world.
North Africa & SW Asia This region in particular is known for its religious conflict and hordes of displaced Arab populations including Palestinians and Kurds. In fact the high numbers of refugees here has left a deep impressions on the American mental map and cultural perception of the region as a whole. Although the region has somewhat stabilized over the years it will probably never end to due its deep roots in the regions history and culture. Geographers should expect the region to forever be a source of refugees.
South Asia The most influential refugee problem of the region lies among the conflict between the Tamil and Sinhalese of Sri Lanka. The Tamil demand for autonomy separate from the Sinhalese has meant death for many and an “eviction” of sorts for those alive. There are those within the Tamil minority that choose to remain peaceful but because the situation has escalated feel its safer to move elsewhere than stay in Sri Lanka.
SE Asia Unlike other regions of the world SE Asia does not have a consistent flow of refugees coming from any one place. As time changes apparently so does the country with the most political turmoil(something like a game of “hot potato” with refugee turnout) Vietnam had an exodus of “boat people” after the war in the 70 s. However later on Cambodia had internal conflict which resulted in refugee flood of over 300, 000.
Europe The break-up of Yugoslavia was one of the greatest refugee problems of the 20 th century. As Yugoslavia was in and of itself a country of refugees the world hoped that it would become a “utopia” of sorts or rather a European “us. ” Unfortunately it could not overcome its many inner conflicts and different ethnic clashes. It failed to create a permanent home for the stateless nations of Europe.
Elsewhere Outside of these realms relatively few places have had problems with refugees. The only recent example is the intranational refugee problem of Columbia in the late 90 s. Columbia, known for its frequent production of narcotics, had areas within the country which were attacked by “paramilitary” units also known as “narcoterrorists”. Areas which were attacked were places especially vulnerable because of their “out-of reach” location from government protection.
Closing In summary although Ravenstein’s basic laws are helpful to understanding migration patterns there are many other factors that must be taken into account. Types of migration and the reasons behind it depend on the region of the world the influx is coming from as well as the history of migration within that region. (Example: The Middle East has a history of forced Migration) When assessing individual countries it can also depend upon that countries political relationship with surrounding states.