Migration, Globalization and Social Change

Universidad Veritas

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Migration, Globalization and Social Change

  • Host University

    Universidad Veritas

  • Location

    San José, Costa Rica

  • Area of Study

    Anthropology, International Studies, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Human migration is truly a global issue that involves every country in the world and connects
    with a wide range of diverse issues that carry from specific government programs to
    international politics, banking practices, cultural values, democracy and demographics.
    Migration is not a new occurrence, it has been happening throughout history, but has taken
    on a few added dimensions over the last few years, to the point where it presently has
    become an important component of the body of knowledge needed to comprehend present
    day societies. The study of migration is complex, and must go beyond the simplistic view
    of it being a problem of refugees, illegal immigrants and specific border crossings. Because
    of this complexity, the study of migrations has emerged over the last decade as one of the
    truly controversial issues affecting the world today.
    While recognizing that migration has lately become an important factor to be understood in
    most societies around the world, it is important also to keep a balanced perspective. There
    are strong emotional feelings that surround the issue of human migrations that can manage
    to overshadow important empirical facts, the main one being that the movements of people
    around the world are not nearly as large as we are generally led to believe. Studies by The
    World Bank indicate that of the 6.3 billion people that constitute the present day world
    population, only 3% respond to the categorization as migrants, either legal or illegal. The
    vast majority of the population (97%), live in their country of origin. Even so, the percentage
    of people presently living outside of their home nations is the largest ever at any point in
    history, and all tendencies seem to point to a growing trend with no end in sight. It is also
    important to note that most countries are also experiencing significant patterns of internal
    migrations, as people seek accommodation is situations that better fits their needs. In larger
    countries, and those that host various cultures within its borders, internal migrations can
    present issues that need careful examination.
    There are various reasons behind migration movements. The most common explanations
    offered is the seeking of improved economic conditions, the escape of civil strife and
    persecution, and the seeking of less restrictive religious and political environments. Digging
    deeper into the reasons, most of them can be characterized as ?push? and ?pull? factors,
    which refer to situations that tend to expel citizens from their home base and those that at
    the other end tend to be attractive to them. This combination is important in explaining the
    reasons for migration. Also, the recent trends towards globalization in the last three decades
    have led to flows of information about other societies that broaden the perspective of all
    peoples, since globalization includes strong elements of technological growth, new
    opportunities, information, economic growth and interesting developments in the fields of
    human rights, equity and a host of freedoms being introduced into everyday living.
    The course introduces participants to theories and practices of international human
    migrations as a phenomena that has been present throughout history, but that has taken on
    special emphasis in today?s world, with human ramifications, and strong effects being
    produced on societies on both ends of the problem: nations from which peoples are leaving
    and those that are targeted by the migrants. The phenomena is reviewed on several of its
    most prominent manifestations: forced migrations, voluntary migrations or internal
    displacements of groupings of people, and the motivational underpinnings that provoke them
    to embark on such drastic actions as the uprooting of home and families in pursuit of
    perceived better life opportunities. Migration is perceived by peoples in despair as an
    alternative to social, political and/or economic conditions that weigh heavily on them, even
    when factoring in risks of security and adaptation to cultures unknown. Within these, will be
    analyzed issues of return migrations, effects of remittances, formation of diaspora
    communities and the myriad of problems brought about by cultural adaptations and
    The course will cover the theoretical foundations for analysis and understanding of emerging
    issues brought about by intense migration movements across the globe, and the consequent
    effects that these have on the host societies, the incoming groups and societies left behind
    by migratory groups. Participants will take part in the analysis of new identities and cultural
    manifestations that emerge from these occurrences, and the some of the main problems of
    misunderstandings and adaptations that are necessary in order to reach accommodations
    that allow for the valuable and peaceful coexistence that eventually leads to an enrichment
    of the life experience of all groups of peoples involved.
    At the end of the course, participants will be able to:
    - Understand trends in international migrations and the social, political and/or
    economic issues that lead to this.
    - Analyze government laws and policies in the light of current migration patterns and
    issues that rise unexpectedly.
    - Anticipate changes and adaptations within cultural practices in society as a result of
    migratory flows.
    - Understand the role of migrations and human mobility in social change.
    - Understand the effects of globalization on human mobility and the role of broader
    knowledge of world cultures on the aspirations and desires of peoples.
    - Study of theories, approaches and key concept on Migrations
    o Theoretically informed account of challenges posed by international
    migrations and resulting policy responses to these that lead to migration
    management by government and practice by society at the global, regional
    and bilateral level.
    - Qualitative research methods in migration studies
    o Introduces participants to a range of possible research strategies and allows
    them to prepare for more advanced academic and professional work on the
    - Managing migrations is central to shaping the global future
    o Realization that in an increasingly globalized world, migration and cultural
    diversity is a fact of life, and that adjustments in cultural patterns and policy
    responses are going to be needed.
    - International and domestic quarrels that displace peoples
    o Identification of some of the principal issues that lead to disputes within
    societies and in many cases to deny the full integration of groupings within a
    political and cultural society, and therefore force upon specific groupings the
    idea of migration as an alternative to life fulfillment. Push and pull forces.
    - Human and economic needs that encourage mobilization of peoples
    o Human and economic disparities lead to limitations in life opportunities, so
    that limited human development foster unfulfilled dreams. Identification of the
    principles of human development and their impact on migration alternatives.
    - Globalization tendencies that encourage migrations
    o Full participation in a globalized society requires a relationship of peoples on
    equal footing at least on the basics of human development. Issues of human
    and political rights, the rule of law and respect of traditions and customs of
    others are essential to inclusion in societies.
    - Political, religious and other disputes that prevent full inclusion within
    societies and the granting of full legal rights
    o Review of general rules of coexistence in harmony, with respect.
    - Issues of return migrations
    o Issues faced upon return to the original society. Adaptation to changes.
    - Effects of remittances
    o A substantial amount of migrants need to meet economic obligations left
    behind, and therefore have contributed to making out remittances to the
    native society a huge international business, that in many cases has spilled
    over into international conflicts over these issues.
    - Formation of diaspora communities
    o Issues of language and religious practices, dress codes and social traditions
    rise to the forefront when diaspora communities emerge, and in many
    instances tend to clash with practices in the host society. The rights of
    immigrants are issues that need to be addressed sooner instead of later.
    - Problems of cultural adaptation and assimilation
    o Emphasis on the problems faced by second and third generation immigrants
    while living in dual societies, and striving to balance these.
    The course will be based primarily on lectures by the Instructor, and written and oral
    presentations by participants on the different topics in the Course Content. Participants will
    be assigned specific topics to develop, and will present these in written and oral form to the
    rest of the class, and lead a discussion on the issues. Since this is a developing field, there
    are many issues that are not resolved in terms of an academic approach to them, and
    therefore they are still characterized by bringing out passions, suppositions, and
    speculations that have not yet been developed into full fledged facts upon which policies
    can be based. Therefore, discussions are expected to be common in the course, and
    individual thought will be respected fully.
    The number of papers to be developed by each student will depend on the number
    participants in the course.
    It is expected that the prime source for consultation will be the bibliography distributed in
    class, supplemented by internet sources added by each participant. The literature consulted
    will be an important part of the grading of each paper.
    Grades will be the result of the following:
    Mid term exam 30%
    Written and oral presentations 35%
    FinaL exam 35%
    Rules and regulations of Universidad Veritas, as explained to all participants during
    orientation, in regards to attendance and classroom behavior will apply.
    Ali, Sayed, & Doug Hartmann, eds. Migration, Incorporation and Change in an
    Interconnected World. New York: Routledge. 2015
    De Guchteneire, Paul. Democracy and Human Rights in Multicultural Societies. 2007.
    Dustmann, Christian. Economic Change, Social Challenge. Oxford, U.K.: University of sford
    Press. 2015.
    King, Russel, ed. . Atlas of Human Migration. New York: Firefly Books, Ltd. 2007.
    Steiner, Niklaus. International Migration and Citizenship Today. New York: Routledge. 2009.
    Milton Clarke, PhD in Management Sciences (Areas of Specialization: Strategic
    Management, Political Economy of Development, and International Trade). Formerly
    Management Advisor for United Nations Development Programme and formerly Senior
    Consultant to Swedish International Services, working in developing nations. Presently
    works as Management Consultant to international, public and private organizations.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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