This book draws attention to the various factors that characterize migrant flows and mobilities, calling into question familiar concepts such as push and pull, migration as a life project and sociocultural integration. It highlights processes such as fl exible migrant routes, temporary and return migration, mental aspects of migration processes and transnationalism, which are organised around the themes of shaping trajectories, frictions in space, and the migrant mental framework. It brings together work from scholars from Europe and beyond, with the contributions collected emphasizing the social and mental processes that underpin the migratory process, which can be seen as the ‘soft side’ of migration. Too often, this side is neglected when the governance of migration is discussed. The novel ideas expressed here also help to overcome the mechanistic view of migration as a push-pull event. Thus, the book suggests a different understanding of migration and mobility as relational, non-linear and fluid social processes, characterized by instability in migrant life trajectories. Emphasizing the fl exibility of migrants and migration and advocating the importance of emotionally charged, individual perceptions as central to migrant decision-making, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, anthropology, politics and geography with interests in migration and diaspora studies.

chapter 1|14 pages


part I|2 pages

Shaping trajectories

chapter 2|41 pages

On wayfaring and transporting

Understanding the mobility trajectories of African migrants in Europe

chapter 4|21 pages

South–South migrant trajectories

African traders in China as guoke

part II|2 pages

Frictions in space

chapter 6|16 pages

Moving across juridical territories in Europe

Migrants under humanitarian protection 1

chapter 7|17 pages

Moving home

Bolivian return migration from Spain in times of crisis

part III|2 pages

Modifying the migrant mental framework

chapter 8|19 pages

Mobilities and mindsets

Locating imagination in transnational migrations

chapter 9|54 pages

Gazing into the distance

Thresholds of mobility in migrants’ lifeworlds

chapter 11|18 pages

Academic mobility and identities

Stories from (ethnic) Chinese students and scholars en route

chapter 12|7 pages


Mobilities in migration