Migration: Theory, Concepts and Selected Issues

The details
Sociology and Criminology
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
07 February 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA L31112 Migration Studies,
MSC L31112 Migration Studies

Module description

Throughout this module, we will discuss international theories of migration and social integration, examine migration and refugee policies in a comparative perspective, the difference between statistical and taste-based discrimination, and the perpetuation of bias, how we gain an understanding of labour market integration; and the debates surrounding migration, prostitution and sex work.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To introduce the basic theories and concepts in migration studies.

  • To offer tools for critical engagement with the materials introduced.

  • To develop students’ awareness of various discourses about migration in a global context.

  • To establish the connections between migration issues and policy.

  • To compile, review and assess the literature on migration.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Have an overview of the interdisciplinary field of migration studies.

  2. Develop their understanding of the diverse theories and concepts surrounding migration.

  3. Acquire skills to critically assess the literature. 

  4. Identify and analyse the different social, economic, cultural and political dimensions of migration.

  5. Understand the issues surrounding migration issues in national, regional and international contexts.

  6. Critically evaluate the contribution of sociological analysis to migration issues.

Module information


The week before every seminar questions about the readings will be posted to the module forum.

You are encouraged to post to the module forum -when required- your responses to the questions about the readings or post your own questions about them.

You are expected to read the required readings before the seminar, so you can fully participate in the discussion. Also, when required you are expected to watch the films or documentaries suggested before the seminar.

To post to the module forum -when required- your responses to the questions about the readings.

You are always welcome to contact any of the lecturers delivering the seminars by email to discuss further aspects of the themes covered in the seminars.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour seminar each week.

Attendance in person is expected.


  • Putnam, Robert D. (2007-06) 'E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture', in Scandinavian Political Studies. vol. 30 (2) , pp.137-174
  • Bloemraad, Irene. (2018) 'Theorising the power of citizenship as claims-making', in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. vol. 44 (1) , pp.4-26
  • Anderson, Carol. (2017) White rage: the unspoken truth of our racial divide, New York, NY: Bloomsbury, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
  • Shafir, Gershon. (c1998) The citizenship debates: a reader, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Alba, Richard; Foner, Nancy. (2014) 'Comparing Immigrant Integration in North America and Western Europe: How much do the Grand Narratives Tell Us?', in International Migration Review. vol. 48 (s1) , pp.263-291
  • O'Connell Davidson, Julia. (2006-8) 'will the real sex slave please stand up?', in Feminist Review. vol. 83 (1) , pp.4-22
  • Vuolajärvi, Niina. (2018) 'Governing in the Name of Caring—the Nordic Model of Prostitution and its Punitive Consequences for Migrants Who Sell Sex', in Sexuality Research and Social Policy.
  • Ruhs, M.; Vargas-Silva, C. (2018) The labour market effects of immigration. Migrant Observatory Briefing, Oxford: University of Oxford.
  • Busza, Joanna. (2004) 'Sex Work and Migration: The Dangers of Oversimplification: A Case Study of Vietnamese Women in Cambodia', in Health and Human Rights. vol. 7 (2) , pp.231-
  • Shachar, A. (2007) 'Against Birthright Privilege: Redefining Citizenship as Property', in Identities, affiliations, and allegiances, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., pp.257-281
  • Abascal, Maria; Baldassarri, Delia. (2015-11) 'Love Thy Neighbor? Ethnoracial Diversity and Trust Reexamined', in American Journal of Sociology. vol. 121 (3) , pp.722-782
  • Dustmann, C.; Frattini, T.; Preston, I. P. (2013) 'The Effect of Immigration along the Distribution of Wages', in The Review of Economic Studies. vol. 80 (1) , pp.145-173
  • Zwysen, Wouter. (2018) 'Different Patterns of Labor Market Integration by Migration Motivation in Europe: The Role of Host Country Human Capital', in International Migration Review.
  • Soysal, Yasemin Nuhoglu. (2012) 'Citizenship, immigration, and the European social project: Rights and obligations of individuality', in The British Journal of Sociology. vol. 63 (1) , pp.1-21
  • Andrijasevic, Rutvica. (2007-7) 'beautiful dead bodies: gender, migration and representation in anti-trafficking campaigns', in Feminist Review. vol. 86 (1) , pp.24-44

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Report     50% 
Coursework   Literature review     50% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Carlos Gigoux Gramegna, email:
Dr Carlos Gigoux Gramegna



External examiner

Dr Umut Erel
Open University
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 10 hours, 10 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Sociology and Criminology

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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