Thursday, 10. June 2021, 0930-1700 CEST
Transnational mobility has become one of the key issues in the 21st century. It intersects the theme of migration which is a major policy theme in the African Union, European Union and beyond. Yet, while migration looks predominantly at the points of departure or arrival of migrating persons and the so-called “sending” or “receiving” communities, mobility studies make a connection to the physical movement as a complex, non-linear and/or circular experience and also pay attention to processes of imaging one´s life, feelings and meaning making. The concept of transnational mobility gives us a chance to break out of Eurocentric concepts and pay attention to how people describe their own experience of “moving”, “traveling” or “seeking greener pastures.”
Social work´s engagement with mobile people has been varied but long established – if not always explicitly so. In Europe, as much as in Africa, social work is tightly connected to the processes of urbanization – and hence of rural-to-urban migration. More recently, the involvement of social work with (international) migration has gained importance in close entanglement to political developments and the interest of states and international bodies to regulate migration. The Symposium seeks to chart current developments at the intersection of mobility and social work and trace the transnational entanglements of these fields. It takes as its departure the international collaboration of the Social Work Department of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Würzburg – Schweinfurt and explores how mobility, migration and social work are conceptualized in social work education, research and practice.