The First Interdisciplinary Workshop on Migration Issues in Catalonia

  • 2013•03•06

    To this purpose, the participants were asked to address the following set of questions:

    • What challenges arise in terms of interdisciplinary research with regard to differences in methodologies of research, conceptual frameworks or academic discourses? How can these differences be bridged?
    • In the context of research on migration, can we explore interdisciplinary research practices as routes that connect the academy with the lived ‘field’ of migration? Or does interdisciplinary research reinforce the borders of the academy?
    • In terms of advising policy, how can interdisciplinary research on migration best be employed in order to make research findings known to policy makers?

    This exercise was also helpful to clarify to what extent and in what ways research relies on interdisciplinary approaches, what the state of the art is in the various disciplines represented at the workshop, and to see what points of contact there are between them. The aim was to cover the complexity of the phenomena from different angles and to consider its consequences in terms of cultural impact on host societies. What emerged is that migration, rather than being interdisciplinary from the outset, was approached from many disciplines in unilateral ways.

    Participants concluded by differentiating between two different models of interdisciplinary approach, which the participants defined as interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. The former attempts to find the usefulness of different perspectives around an issue, while the latter is the ability to use concepts and theories elaborated in different disciplines to make further advancements in a single discipline. Thus, while the latter causes different disciplines to converge into a single model, which still fits into (and is adapted to) a single disciplinary approach, the former model enables further advances to disentangle the complex phenomena of migration on the basis of an issue-based approach. With these two different possible models in mind, participants decided to develop their ideas into working-documents, which will be written and shared in the near future. This will then be discussed at a future meeting.