(2004) SECONDARY MIGRATIONS IN SPAIN: Spatiality and Social Integration [ENG]

Martes 19 de octubre de 2004, por Web

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Martínez López, M. A. (Director) (2004, November 23). SECONDARY MIGRATIONS IN SPAIN: Spatiality and Social Integration. Workshop on the Sociology and Cultures of Globalization. Lecture conducted from , Chicago.


The sociological interpretation of spatial mobility of immigrants deals with such crucial questions as: How does this mobility affect social conditions of both immigrants and host societies? What model of social and spatial organization is being generated in the metropolitan areas that absorb main migratory flows? How transnational (links and networks co-existing in several national contexts) and postnational (political, social and civil rights independent of nationality) relationships are producing the multiples displacements of people? In order to understand this wide social frame, it is necessary to establish a more modest socio-demographic approach that may distinguish the patterns and mechanisms underlying those processes. Our hypothesis is that secondary migrations (i.e. internal migrations of immigrant population) reveals a set of social phenomena that partially explains how immigrants are being integrated or segregated in the host society.

In the first part of this paper, a critical and comprehensive conceptualization of the notion of “social integration” is presented. Active participation in society and the exercise of citizenship are main elements of this concept, but similar demographic patterns –such as mobility or fertility rates- verified between natives and immigrants are also considered. The empirical approach adopted in the second part of this article tests these similarities by means of a comparison between internal and secondary migrations in Spain along the period 1998-2003.

According to the data examined and to our theoretical premises, we found out that spatial scales are characterized by multi-level social attributes and different migratory experiences. Therefore, comparison of internal and secondary migrations is dependant on this socio-spatial context. A group of Autonomous Communities in Spain concentrated the intense migratory flows coming from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe since the 1990s, but careful examination showed anomalous cases, changes in the composition of the group and specific evolution in the largest metropolitan areas –Madrid and Barcelona. Data about primary destinations of transnational migration, net internal migration and spatial distribution of immigrants and natives, indicate that secondary migrations became increasingly more active than internal migrations in those areas. Several dissimilarities between both patterns are quite relevant and point out a persistent socio-spatial segregation, but a slight tendency to major dissemination of immigrants across Autonomous Communities and unexpected consequences, such as their impact on the population decline of some metropolitan areas, reveal also symptoms of social integration.