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Experience and Representation: Contemporary Perspectives on Migration in Australia provides a critical overview of influential theoretical perspectives and recent empirical material in the fields of migration, race, culture and politics. With a primary focus on Australia, the book explores the complexities surrounding migration; sets out the most appropriate frameworks to understand ethnicity and racism; and assesses the utility of the concepts of globalisation, transnationalism and multiculturalism for interpreting contemporary society. Specific chapters explore the experiences of migrants within the context of urban environments; the vexed issue of national identity; the meaning of home; and the ways that migrants are currently represented in the media, literature and film. Experience and Representation will be of interest to scholars of migration and those studying social theory, politics and the media.
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Keith Jacobs is Associate Professor in the School of Sociology and Social Work, University of Tasmania, AustraliaReview:
'If you are thinking about questions such as: "How is migration changing the world?", "Why are migrants linked to fear?", "What is the meaning of home?" and "How is migrant identity represented in contemporary literature and film?", then you should read this fabulously lucid, comprehensive and even-handed book.' Nikos Papastergiadis, University of Melbourne, Australia 'In this book Keith Jacobs takes aim, with an inventive sociological imagination, at the big questions of migration, identity and belonging in contemporary Australia. The result is a most articulate and discriminate sociological critique of migration in conditions of advanced globalisation.' Anthony Elliott, Flinders University, Australia and Open University, UK '... Keith Jacobs produces a fantastic interdisciplinary reconfiguration of the stories of migration. Drawing on the Australian experience the book speaks to a much wider audience, bringing together sociological, political economical, psychoanalytic and cultural geographical insights to produce a fascinating new take on the subjectivities of people that move and an understanding of the migration process.' Michael Keith, University of Oxford, UK '... by drawing on different disciplinary orientations, issues and fields - it allows the reader to reach a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of migratory experiences and representations of migrants in Australia and beyond. This is a major advantage of the book. Another advantage is that it shows, mostly indirectly, how migratory experiences, representations of migrants and cultural constructions of belonging and nationhood, are linked to real unequal relations of power and domination. In this way Jacobs' work transcends the specific context of which is about and has wider implications and repercussions... All in all, the book makes a very good read. It is very informative and at times illuminating and is characterised by a balance between theoretical insights and empirical examples and findings. The author goes a long way into contemporary migration-related literature to offer us meaningful and constructive understandings of the processes through which migratory experiences and representations are formed and transformed... this book is of great value and will serve as an important resource for anyone seeking to understand the complexities and dynamics of migrants' identities and experiences.' Migration Letters '... a wonderful resource for undergraduate teaching, as well as for postgraduates orientating themselves in a perplexing entanglement of disciplines and theories... This book, through its linking of the Australian context and international theoretical debates, makes it extremely relevant to readers across the globe. Australia is often footnoted in international writing on migration; this book demonstrates why this should not be the case and how discussion of the Australian case has much to offer a world where multiculturalism is currently being renounced.' Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies 'Combining multiple and complementary perspectives is particularly useful in the scholarly publications aiming to explore new directions in understanding the complex phenomena of migration and its challenge in redefining identity. Experience and Representation: Contemporary Perspectives on Migration in Australia, by Keith Jacobs, can be included in this trend, as the book brings in an approach to the study of migration that departs from mainstream research in several ways... As a provocative and thoughtful monograph that contributes to the on-going academic and political debates on globalization, digitization and post-colonialism, this book will be of interest to scholars of migration and identity, ethnicity, culture and politics, as well as policy-makers and political activists involved in these fields.' Journal of Identity and Migration Studies 'This book is thoughtful and well researched. It will repay reading for those who want to familiarize themselves with the theoretical work on immigration. It has an excellent list of references.' Pacific Affairs 'Keith Jacobs' book, Experience and Representation, is focused on the way in which migration has been experienced and responded to in Australia, but it should be approached as an account with relevance to the understanding of migration in any national setting, providing a way of thinking about the migrant experience with analytical implications that are not confined to the Australian story... The book is unambiguously an exercise in sociology, but of the richest interdisciplinary kind, because Jacobs draws on a broad range of social science perspectives, reaching across to anthropology and human geography, and especially to psychoanalysis... There is an enormous amount of sociological intelligence in literature and cinema, and a central strength of the book is the way in which Jacobs suggestively reflects on how the experience of migration is portrayed in those cultural arenas... there are a number of significant initiatives being taken here, particularly to include a discussion of psychoanalytic perspectives, as part of a concern with the subjective dimensions of migration, and taking seriously the content of non-academic, cultural spheres such as literature and film, so that overall the book is an important contribution to the field.' Contemporary Sociology 'A broad-based and holistic look at the world of Australian immigration, Keith Jacobs' Experience and Representation takes a multidisciplinary approach, integrating social, race, cultural, ethnic, economic, political, and media studies in its exploration of such weighty topics as globalism, multiculturalism and the nature of nationality. By making such strong use of the social sciences, Experience and Representation is able to provide a compelling and accessible window into the non-legislative aspects of Australian Migration, whilst also hinting at the legal framework underpinning the author's pop cultural references and conclusions.' Migration Australia
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