A key aim of the forthcoming book Social Networks and Migration – relocations, relationships and resources, is to advance the field of social network analysis in migration studies. For too long, migration studies have been criticised for applying the term network in a largely metaphorical way. However, at the other end of the spectrum, network analysis has become increasingly quantitative informed by advanced computation and graph theory. In this seminar, I turn to the origins of social network research to consider how qualitative approaches informed by interpretivist perspectives can help to offer more nuanced understandings of relationality in migration experiences and trajectories. Through the framework of ‘telling network stories’ I reflect upon how participants present their relationships, in words and pictures, in the contexts of research encounters. In so doing, I consider what is gained by adopting this approach and what new insights can be generated into how networks are conceptualised and studied.
Louise Ryan, a graduate of UCC, is Senior Professor and Director of the Global Diversities and Inequalities research centre at London Metropolitan University. Louise has been publishing on migration for 20 years and edited several books including Gendering Migration (with Wendy Webster, 2008), Migrant Capital (with Umut Erel and Alessio D’Angelo, 2015). Louise has published several highly cited articles in journals such as Sociology, Sociological Review and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. She recently guest edited a special issue of the journal Global Networks (with Janine Dahinden) July, 2021. Louise is currently a co-I on the large Horizon2020 project ‘MIMY’ on migrant youth across ten European countries. In 2015 Louise was awarded a Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences for the work on migration.
Professor Ryan is visiting Maynooth University as part of the MUSSI fellowship Scheme and this event is sponsored by MUSSI, MU Department of Geography and MU Department of Sociology.