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Decolonizing Migration Studies: A Chicanx Studies Perspective

We are happy to be sharing an essay written by Christian V. Ramirez, a Chicano/Latino Studies and Sociology PhD student at Michigan State University, entitled, "Decolonizing Migration Studies: A Chicanx Studies Perspective." Below is a bit of context he provides for us. Read a full (pdf) draft of the essay here.

"Much of the literature on migration within sociological literature is frustrating. I find it particularly distasteful when Mexican migrating people are seen as foreigners while the U.S. and Euro-Americans are framed as the “host” society. My people have a much longer history within this U.S. imperial land space and social scientist have not acknowledged our pre-colonial, colonial, and modern experiences with migratory patterns that traverse politically imagined/situated boundaries. It seems that social scientist are more interested in “managing” migration and have developed a field of study that propels their academic careers while leaving the majority of the population under study behind. My people are not honored or respected by this colonial relationship with the academy. These are the real human emotional reasons that prompted me to write this piece.

It is time that sociology, in particular, creates new concepts for understanding “Mexican” migration. I offer here an introduction to the potential that lies when we decolonize migration studies. I question the relationship between western epistemologies that are foundational to the social sciences, sociology, and migration studies more specifically. I hope that this paper is but a stepping stone for others who wish to expand these thoughts with other forms of epistemic justice."

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