ANTH2801 Migrants, Refugees and Travellers: Mobility and Immobility in Transnational Lives

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 1UWA (Perth)Multi-mode Multiple modes of delivery. Unit includes a mix of online and on-campus study requirements. On campus attendance for some activities is required to complete this unit.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Anthropology and Sociology major sequence
  • Level 2 elective
We are living in extraordinary times, characterised by both mobility and immobility, and resulting in increasingly transnational lives. Even people who do not move are often members of transnational networks of work, family, and friendship relations that require us to live our lives both on- and off-line. And yet, while unprecedented numbers of people are on the move, both within and across national borders, there are growing limits and controls on certain types of movement. In this unit, we explore different types of mobilities, and their limits, to better understand their impact on our personal experiences and our collective communities. Asylum seekers and refugees flee civil war and political repression, undertaking forced migration and illegal border crossings, often culminating in exile and mass displacement. Migrants, who are increasingly women, move for labour and career opportunities, often on temporary visas that can easily result in precarious status and interrupted lives. Young people are among the most mobile as the traditional transitions to adulthood are replaced by mobility aspirations and imperatives. Older people are among the least mobile, but face particular challenges growing old in such uncertain times.

The unit aims to familiarise students with a range of theoretical perspectives on ethnicity and identity, citizenship and belonging, family life and social relations. Students are introduced to key methodological tools including network analysis and online methods. The unit also provides students with insights into the range of skills and knowledge necessary to apply their social science training to migrant and refugee-related issues. It encourages students to think about career options, professional development and transferable skills while providing a theoretical grounding in refugee, transnational migration and mobility studies.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an ability to discuss key ideas in the study of migration, refugees and transnational lives; (2) demonstrate an ability to analyse key issues related to the study of migration, refugees and transnational lives in clear, well-supported written arguments; (3) demonstrate an ability to apply key methods related to the study of migration, refugees and transnational lives, for example, social network analysis; and (4) demonstrate knowledge of key concepts in the study of migration, refugees and transnational lives.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) an in-class test; and (3) tutorial and workshop participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Prof Loretta Baldassar
Unit rules
any Level 1 ANTH unit
HUMA2236 Refugees and Human Rights
Contact hours
up to 3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.