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Introduction: Migration and Migrant Lives: Improvisation, Creativity, and Adaptation

Amie L. Lennox


This issue addresses the fixity and motion of migration in two broad areas. The first is the idea of identities in motion, in flux. This idea has been the habitat of anthropologists for decades. How do migrants and refugees make sense of the new world that they inhabit, and the process by which they have come to be in a new place? Who are they now, what does community look like, what are the relationships between the past, the present, and the future, when a person is supplanted in a new culture, place, and climate? The other aspect is the precarity of migrants and asylum seekers when they are in motion, when they find themselves temporary, in transit, struggling to attain a better position in the global economy or even just to survive. The precarity of migrants away from social structures and the known is magnified and multiplied under indifferent, exclusionary, and hostile host settings. In both senses, migration becomes a space of making and remaking worlds and identities. The articles in this issue reveal how, even on multiple planes of choice and necessity for survival, migration is a site of incredible creativity, strategy, and unexpected connections.



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