International Migration, Identity, and Development in Oceania: A Synthesis of Ideas

Richard Bedford

in International Migration

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199269006
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601309 | DOI:

Series: International Studies in Demography

 International Migration, Identity, and Development in Oceania: A Synthesis of Ideas

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At the turn of the millennium, new geographies and histories are being written for the thousands of atolls, reef islands, volcanic cones and continental islands that comprise the region termed Oceania. In terms of motives for and patterns of spatial mobility of the inhabitants of this “sea of islands”, the largest cities of Australia and New Zealand, as well as Los Angeles and Vancouver on the west coast of North America, must also be included in Oceania's contemporary international migration system. This chapter explores four approaches that emphasize the salience of international migration for development in this region: demographic and resource imperatives for migration; remittance flows and dependency/interdependency structures in the region; Pacific identities and socio‐cultural dimensions of contemporary mobility; and the effects of structural adjustment programs and globalization on transformations of Oceanic societies. The emphasis on multiple identities and multi‐local populations in recent studies of international migration in Oceania traverse ideas and concepts that have been around for a long time in research on population movement in the region. A synthesis of ideas about international migration, identity, and development in Oceania assists researchers to navigate the intellectual turmoil that has surrounded discourses about modernity and postmodernity – discourses that challenge us to keep our critical geographical imagination creatively open to redefinition of old ideas, and expansion into new directions of scholarship.

Keywords: demography; dependency; development; geographical imagination; globalization; international migration; multi‐local populations; multiple identities; Oceania; remittances

Chapter.  15295 words. 

Subjects: Economic Systems

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