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Societies, Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2012), Pages 1-26

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Research

Open AccessArticle Privileged Mobility in an Age of Globality
Societies 2012, 2(1), 1-13; doi:10.3390/soc2010001
Received: 12 February 2012 / Revised: 22 February 2012 / Accepted: 28 February 2012 / Published: 5 March 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (209 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
By 2050, the world’s population of international migrants is estimated to top 400 million. A small but growing number of those migrants are leaving well-developed, affluent countries best known for receiving immigrants to settle in less well-developed countries better known for sending [...] Read more.
By 2050, the world’s population of international migrants is estimated to top 400 million. A small but growing number of those migrants are leaving well-developed, affluent countries best known for receiving immigrants to settle in less well-developed countries better known for sending migrants. These migrants of relative privilege, many of them retirees, are motivated primarily by a desire to enhance their quality of life. Although this migratory flow receives much less attention than more familiar, and reverse, movements of laborers or refugees, its implications for the destination sites, sites of origin, and study of international migration generally are significant. This article will examine the contemporary border crossing of privileged migrants, the economic, political and cultural stakes for the countries and individuals involved, and the implications of incorporating privileged mobility into the study of global migration and transnationalism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue On the Move: Human Migration Past, Present and Future)
Open AccessArticle Debating "the Social": Towards a Critique of Sociological Nostalgia
Societies 2012, 2(1), 14-26; doi:10.3390/soc2010014
Received: 8 December 2011 / Revised: 2 March 2012 / Accepted: 13 March 2012 / Published: 22 March 2012
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Abstract
Although sociology can be commonsensically and parsimoniously defined as the study of society, the problems of defining such terms as ‘society’, ‘the social’, and ‘the social system’ remain an ongoing irritant of sociological theory. In addition to these traditional conceptual problems, there [...] Read more.
Although sociology can be commonsensically and parsimoniously defined as the study of society, the problems of defining such terms as ‘society’, ‘the social’, and ‘the social system’ remain an ongoing irritant of sociological theory. In addition to these traditional conceptual problems, there is currently a strong sense that ‘society’ as an empirical reality and ‘society’ as a concept are in crisis. Given the contemporary view of ‘the end of the social’ there is also manifestly a potent and nostalgic interest in the past as a time of comforting solidarity and meaningfulness. To clarify this debate, we start by making a distinction between three approaches to society, namely structure, solidarity and creation. Nostalgia hinges around the certainties that followed from reliable social structures, and from the comfort of community. We illustrate these forms of nostalgia through an examination of the social philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre. Recognizing that his criticisms of the loss of virtue represent a powerful indictment of modernity, we argue that past societies were also fractured by moral discord. More importantly, MacIntyre rules out the possibility of moral re-invention by excluding the rise of human rights as a moral framework. In conclusion, the forms of social creativity may not enjoy the ‘sticky’ solidarity of the past, but they do testify Georg Simmel’s idea of the social (Vergesellschaftung). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exemplars in Social Research)

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