‘Mapping Migrancies’: A discursive mapping approach to analyse lived experiences of skilled migration infrastructures
journal contributionposted on 21.05.2021, 16:05 by Marina Khan
The recent ‘infrastructural turn’ in migration studies has provided valuable insights into the emergence and functions of different aspects of migration infrastructure such as the commercial migration industry, social networks, and technological innovations (Xiang and Lindquist 2014). The focus of current scholarship, however, has been on how these infrastructures mobilise migrants, predominantly across irregular migration pathways. There remains a gap in exploring infrastructures of formal migration, and their entanglements with migrants’ own subjectivities. This paper reports on a research project that explores this gap by arguing for a new research agenda on migration infrastructure. The study uses a ‘discursive mapping’ approach involving in-depth interviews and mind-maps sketched by 27 research participants based in Australia and Canada as they narrated their migration experience. This paper draws upon the experiences of three migrants to illuminate how their journeys are intertwined with and shaped by migration infrastructures - particularly media and regulatory processes. By (re)centring the infrastructural focus on migrants’ own agencies, desires, and life-courses, this study presents nuanced understandings of the lived experience of skilled migration infrastructures.