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What Is Migration? Essay

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Updated: Oct 20th, 2020


Migration is a concept that has been well been used in the past and present times. This is because it is a concept which has been used to illustrate the movement of people from one region of a nation to another (Braziel & Anita 2003 ). In essence, people move from one region to another for various reasons and purposes. It is on this basis that migration is based on. These reasons vary from one point to another.

In certain cases, migration may be forced; other cases may have been induced by adverse conditions at home, attraction or curiosity towards an external situation, or some accidents of events which evoked the direct or indirect exercise of choice. It is also worth noting that other ethnics may not have moved or migrated recently, but their homes may be subject to migration from invasions from foreign settlers which may constitute another form of migration (Hammar 1997).

What is migration?

Presumably, scholars have been seeking to establish the right fundamental from which to view or evaluate the term migration in the societal setting. In essence, the shift which exists in locus of residence or crucial activities is an insufficient factor which exists in the correct definition of migration or migrants (Helmke 2011). Also to be considers are the factors of

  1. purpose of travel,
  2. frequency and duration of stay,
  3. the distance and qualitative socio cultural differences between original and present places of residence (Wayne 2006).

Within the definition of the term immigrant, there are emerging issues which may be considered or even termed to be an important aspect of which bring to the fore the correct distinctions or sub categories as well. Issues pertinent to this differentiation are the types of migration among migrants or types of migration themselves include several aspects (Wayne 2006). These aspects include sex and the age distribution, the generation, country of origin, language and culture, phenol – typical visibility, predisposition of the host society to the immigrants in general and particular, economic and political conditions of the host society which exist at the time of the arrival. The debate

There has been a debate which has been taking place on the subject of the link between migration and development. This has been orchestrated by research studies which have taken place in the past. It is worth mentioning that this debate has led to the conclusion that there are people who hold differing views regarding the subject of the links which exist between migration and development (Satvinder 2006). There are those who hold the view that migration is a positive element in the development of the society, and yet there are those who hold the idea that this is a negative aspect which should not be entertained. Those who hold the views that this should not be entertained are known as the pessimists and those who purvey this notion are known as the optimists.

The pessimist

These believe that migration has been one of the greatest contributors of inequality in the society. This is especially so in cases where the people who have and are migrating form a special body of professional within a government (Satvinder 2006). Essentially, this has led to the general description of the term Diasporas where the problems of under development have been aggravated. The brain drain phenomenon has been attributed to the fact that there are places in the world where the skills which are needed are not available thus; the cases of brain drain have been on the increase.

This has in turn brought to the fore the very subject of inequality. Poor nations have been on the receiving end especially in regard to this subject of brain drain. The historical structuralists have developed a theory which evaluates migration as an escape from problems or better still flight from misery (Satvinder 2006). This phenomenon has been largely attributed by the capitalist mentality which has reigned across the globe.

Opinion Regarding the subject on the migration, I hold the opinion that it is an emerging issue in the current world. Consequently, it needs one to be critical enough in order to address the issues which are coming up in line with the subject. It is worth mentioning the fact that migration has got both positive and negative implications and effects. Thus, it is upon the stakeholders involved in policy formulation to ensure that the positive implications of migration are upheld on the other hand ensuring that the negative effects are mitigated. The role of policy is fundamental in ensuring that the necessary facts are considered on this subject.

Much more research is required on this area. Scholars have gone on recorded stating that the recent usage of the word migration has been associated with international migration, while internal migration of the other hand has been subsumed under such terms as population distribution or what most people have termed urbanization (Wayne 2006). The people who have been working or rather those who are working on international migration seldom consider internal migration to be relevant to their academic or investigative interests and vice versa.

Recently, the ION has ventured more into the issues which have been facing or which has been associated with migration. This has been carried out in order to attempt to enhance an understanding as well as create awareness about the linkages which exist between internal migration, international migration and development (Wayne 2006).

Scholars have argued further that by not acknowledging the vast roles which have been played by internal migrants in driving agricultural and industrial growth, governments escape the responsibility of providing basic services to millions of poor people who are currently bearing the cost of moving labour to locations where it is most needed. The Critique of Migration and Development According to NELM Development is an integral aspect of the society.

This is because human beings are always endeavoring to achieve development at all levels and sectors of the society. It is on this basis that people are ever seeking better avenues to ensure that they realize and achieve the status that they wish to achieve. An important avenue which people have often embraced is what I will call the greener pasture phenomenon. In this case, professionals and people who have amassed knowledge seek better terms in other parts of the globe.

This is usually driven by the fact that one feels that there are no adequate resources or even remunerations to match the skills that one is offering. From this article, the author puts across a point that migration is viewed as both a risk spreading strategy and a way to overcome some of the various market constraints. It is worth mentioning that despite what the author purport the risks which have been associated with migration have been quite evident. This has been seen in the effects that have been observed through migration. Essentially, there is inadequate information regarding this subject. And as such, this has led to minimal work which has been carried out that can sufficiently provide information detailing these specific aspects.

Despite the fact that links are maintained between the national and international migrants, this does not account for the entire development which can be achieved if the migration was not considered an option. It has also been argued that the remittances from the migrants have led to the diversification of household resources. However, the question which lingers is, by how far is this going to be experienced? It is important to note the fact that the studies should also provide an analysis of the effects of proactive approaches regarding the perceived inequalities which bring about migration.

The migrants who gradually remit money to their families and states normally enhance inequalities. This is because the remittances are not specified in terms of their purpose. This implies that the larger or the wider populations are at the mercy of the people who receive these remittances.

Brain Drain Phenomenon

This phenomenon is actively involved and intertwined in the business of taking the brilliant minds from one region to another region which seems to be providing better terms. In essence, this subject does not necessarily encourage or enhance progress. It has been argued that brain drain also enhances brain gain. For instance, the people who have witnessed the migrants moving and excelling in the other countries are also inspired and challenged to work hard in their studies so that they can also move. In as much as the migrants are admired, the question which lingers is, are all the students going to working hard in order to move abroad? Who will be left to develop their own places? These are very disturbing questions especially within the third world or the developing nations. In as much as people seek to migrate to the first world countries, we are left wondering who will move to the third world countries.

Who will develop them? The argument that the migrants remit resources to these countries does not account for much. What it does is that it serves to suppress the arguments which have been postulated by the pessimists.

Thus, in as much as migration may be looked at as a means of dealing with the challenges which exist within a certain region, the challenges which are associated with these issues are far greater. This is because people will tend to have a dependent mentality which will draw back any benefits that might be acquired from them. Consequently, there is need to ensure that policies and strategies are put in place to govern the migration trends. If this is not done, then there will be a likelihood that progress within certain regions and nations will be hindered and at the same time, the levels of inequality are going to become even wider.

Development of migration theory

Human migration is a phenomenon among human beings which has got implications. In this regard, it constitutes common features which are elicited in people’s behaviours and which are different from other organisms. Thus, in the attempt to better understand this concept, scholars have come up with various explanations which seek to clarify this subject better thus create an awareness based on factual information and explanations.

International migration is a collective process based on fundamental social changes within the society. Various dimensions have created by scholars who have attempted to understand this term better. These scholars have sought insights from various fields such as political science, psychology, sociology, demography and history. Some of the approaches which have eventually emerged include the neo – classical economic equilibrium theory, the historical structuralist theory, and the migration systems theory (Hammar 1997).

Does migration contribute to good development outcomes? In the current world, it is getting clearer that migration has a major impact on development. This has forced policy makers to seek avenues which will ensure that right strategies which are accompanied with migration are put into perspective. In the current age, migration has been associated with certain aspects of development. This has been witnessed both at the national and international levels.

The key factor which has led to this assertion is the fact that the remittances which are being brought to the migrant’s country play a very vital role with regard to development. In the past there have been several myths which have shrouded this subject. These myths include the fact that it is those who are poor and deprived who migrate. The second myth is that of the depriving the developed countries due to brain drain. The third myth is that there is a tidal wave of migrants which is going to crash in the homes and countries of the developed nations.

In essence, this is not largely the case. Both countries seem to benefit from these migrants. For instance the increase in remittances is increasing the quality of living of the migrant families. Secondly, this has seen many children being challenged to work hard academically in order to achieve their desired results. Essentially, this has played a key role with regard to poverty reduction as well as ensuring that learners have the morale to attend school.

Among the developed nations, the increase in manpower has led to increase in quality and professional manpower. Furthermore, the professional partnerships which are formed between the countries have ensured that professionalism is enhanced and initiatives that benefit the countries are enhanced. It is worth noting that migration creates Diasporas who may wish to get products from their countries of origin. These open up avenues of trade which offer employment opportunities thus leading to poverty reduction strategies. However, in as much as this is the case, there is need to ensure that regulation policies are put in place to ensure that the negative effects of migration are mitigated.


In conclusion, the debate between the pros and cons which are associated with migration has been positive. This is because it has enabled people to shed more light on this subject thus appreciate what is going in the society. On one hand, migration is positive, however on another hand, it is negative with harsh consequences. Either way, there is need to have more research to be carried out which sheds more light on the various aspects of migration and their implications. In addition, one should be brought to a point where they are able to give a strong point of view regarding a position of either supporting migration or discarding the very concept of migration.

It is worth mentioning that the subject of migration should not be viewed just as a topic which discusses international migration. Rather it should also bring to the fore issues which are associated with internal migration. The subject of multicultural implications of migrations should not be ignored as well as the subject of the impact that migration has on the environment.

Reference List

Braziel, JE & Anita, M 2003 , Theorizing Diaspora: A Reader, illustrated, reprint edn, Blackwell Pub., New York.

Hammar, T 1997, International Migration, Immobility and Development:Multidisciplinary Perspectives, illustrated edn, Berg, Berlin.

Helmke, J 2011, Remittance-led development: Rebuilding old dependencies or a powerful source of human development? A view on Latin America, kassel university press Gmb, Kassel.

Satvinder, SJ 2006, International Migration And Global Justice, Ashgate Publishing, New Jersey.

Wayne, J 2006, International Migration:Globalization’s Last Frontier, illustrated, large print edn, Zed Books, New York.

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