- Integrating language in theories on long-distance movement: migration vs mobility & the concept of motility
- Number of pages
- A'dam Multiling
- Amsterdam working papers in multilingualism
- Document type
- Working paper
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES)
Language in the context of migration is an unexplored concept. This paper takes a first step towards integrating language into current theories of international mobility. The current state of migration research will be briefly outlined. Subsequently, the differences between the concepts ‘migration’ and ‘mobility’ will be discussed. Afterwards the notion of ‘motility’, which is widely used in biology, less so in sociology, will be reviewed. Motility, loosely defined as potential mobility, proves to be a key-concept when studying the connection between language and migration. Lastly, some methodological challenges specifically connected to the implications of motility for international mobility are reviewed. In this article the argument is made that language skills and policy have a great influence on motility and thus indirectly on mobility.
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