Comparative methodologies in the study of migration

Authored by: Irene Bloemraad

Routledge International Handbook of Migration Studies

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415779722
eBook ISBN: 9780203863299
Adobe ISBN: 9781135183493


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All migration research, regardless of methodology, is comparative. An ethnographer, even one studying a specific group of people in a particular setting, constantly compares and contrasts observations. A researcher using data from a thousand survey respondents compares answers using statistical methods. An archival researcher might compare official accounts of a law's passage to the private letters of those involved. The very identification of international migration as a field of study rests on a comparison: scholars assume that there is something unique and noteworthy in the experiences of those who migrate compared to those who do not.

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