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- Author or Editor: Mieke Schrooten x
Superdiversity implies increasing diversity within diversity, including the rise of flexible migration strategies: complex migration trajectories implying serial cross-border mobility between two or more countries. The article explores transmigration in the two main superdiverse Belgian cities of Brussels and Antwerp, based upon in-depth interviews with Brazilian, Ghanaian and Moroccan transmigrants. The article analyses the social problems related to transmigration, how these problems transcend borders and challenge urban social work and social policies at different levels. It explores why transmigration requires forms of multilevel governance to deal with people living beyond borders in the EU.
This chapter assesses transmigration. Within the fields of migration studies and superdiversity, transmigration and its impact on social policy are still underexplored. Yet, the rising number of transmigrants within Europe — from outside the EU as well as intra-EU-mobility — does not only challenge ideas of belonging and integration, but also existing concepts of governance and social policy. By foregrounding the cases of Brazilian, Ghanaian, and Moroccan transmigrants residing in Belgium in 2014–15, the chapter contributes to a scientific debate regarding these topics. It presents the results of a research project in the two main superdiverse Belgian cities (Brussels and Antwerp), focusing on the social problems and vulnerabilities that relate to transmigration and its inherent temporality and the way that these are experienced and addressed by social workers in superdiverse urban areas within policy frameworks that often do not (yet) recognise the changing context.
How do transnational dynamics of family reunification impact social work? This chapter focuses on the transnational dynamics of family reunification. We specifically look at the lifeworld-dynamics of family relations beyond boundaries and parenting at a distance, but also at the ways in which both families and social workers deal with politically fabricated institutional and legal boundaries. Based on 30 in-depth interviews with refugee families from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia and Syria as well as 35 in-depth interviews with (in)formal social workers in Belgium, we analyse the impact of separation and reunification on family dynamics before, during and after the application for family reunification. We also explore how Belgian social workers deal with transnational issues pertaining to family reunification. Accompanying families throughout processes of family reunification challenges social workers to transcend the boundaries that underpin their work as agents within the national welfare state. Relationships between subjects of social work are increasingly exceeding state boundaries and moving ‘in between’ borders. Consequently, we argue that social work needs to be reassembled to fit this transnational reality and position itself within a transnational assemblage of power.