Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berliner Institut für empirische Integrations- und Migrationsforschung (BIM)

Presentation: Shedding Light on Regret in Migration Decision Making

  • Wann 18.01.2024 von 15:30 bis 17:30
  • Wo Institut für Europäische Ethnografie, Room 408, Møhrenstraße 40/41
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Regret is a very common feeling experienced daily by people all over the world. Yet consideration over regret in relation to migration is quite scarce in the academic literature. Research on migration decision-making has greatly expanded over the past ten to fifteen years, gradually including subjective elements such as imagination, personality traits, beliefs and values, and – crucially for this study – emotions and feelings. In this presentation, we explore the findings that emerged from the analysis of two migration corridors within the framework of the MIDEQ project: one from Ethiopia to South Africa and the other from Haiti to Brazil. Our research identified two types of factors informing regret, which we classified as ‘subjective’ and ‘material elements of regret’. The former centres around emotions and feelings (such as sadness, shame, or longing) and cognitive elements (narratives, imagination, reflections, or worries), while the latter refers to the tangible components of migration and migrants’ life at destination, such as jobs. We aim at providing a better and deeper understanding of regret in order to demystify mainstream narratives of migration as a straightforward way to success, to prove the importance of more liberal migration policies in increasing the material and mental wellbeing of migrants, and to provide relief for migrants who feel constrained in their dialogue with those who stayed behind.

Dr. Caterina Mazzilli to discuss regret and the ethical concerns in producing knowledge on it in migration studies. She will present parts of her findings from the MIDEQ project (Migration for Development and Equality).

Room 408
Møhrenstraße 40/41

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