HOMInG’s Paolo Boccagni is co-convening two sessions at the forthcoming Forum of the International Sociological Association, to take place in Porto Alegre in July 2020. One session, with Cecilia Menjivar (RC31 – RC06), is on Home and Violence in Immigrant Families. Comparing Imaginaries, Subjective Experiences and Social Facts across Receiving Societies.Another session, with Ruben Hernandez-Leon (RC43 – RC31), is on How Does Migration Change the Built Environment? Comparing the Functions and Prospects of “Remittance Houses” in Latin America.

The deadline to submit online abstracts, at  https://www.isa-sociology.org/en/conferences/forum/porto-alegre-2020, is September 30.

See the session abstracts below!


Home and Violence in Immigrant Families. Comparing Imaginaries, Subjective Experiences and Social Facts across Receiving Societies


Home, in the views of most people, stands out as a special place, ideally associated with security, protection and intimacy. Such a pervasive and stereotypical aspiration may be even stronger among migrants, in the face of xenophobic political and social environments. However, there is little new in gender-based violence as a pervasive, if little visibile – somehow privatized – development across social and ethnic groups. Violence inside immigrant households, whether along gender or generational lines, is a particularly slippery social fact. The mainstream ways of approaching it oscillate between blaming or stigmatizing accounts, and relativist views of violence as supposedly more acceptable, even inevitable, within households from particular (often essentialized) cultural backgrounds. As a result, ideological stances outnumber original empirical case studies. Our session appeals to the latter, to cast light on how the reorganization of family relationships after the “disjuncture” of migration interacts with social, economic, and structural forces that inform both the receiving and the sending contexts within which immigrants live. How do romantic imaginaries of home interact with day-to-day realities of violence immigrants face in their families over the course of migration, and across migration system? What is the role of immigrant policies, of arrival infrastructures and of local civil societies in mediating exogenous and endogenous drivers of violence within immigrant households and families?


RC31 Sociology of Migration– joint session with RC06 Sociology of the family





How Does Migration Change the Built Environment? Comparing the Functions and Prospects of “Remittance Houses” in Latin America


There is hardly an easier way to see the impact of migration on local communities of origin than by looking at the built environment. The buildings made (or refurbished) out of migrant remittances may stand out from the surrounding vernacular architecture for their layout, size and infrastructural qualities, but also for the possibility that they remain incomplete or uninhabited. Several case studies attest to the significance of migration-driven housing all over Latin America. However, more comparative research is needed on the social, economic and cultural “lives” of these houses, in many respects: the meanings and (expected) functions these buildings embody; the interface between diasporic house-building and the housing needs, claims and experiences of non-migrants; the engagement of local and transnational actors, within broader migration industries, in building and maintaining them. Still missing, likewise, is a comparative understanding of the interplay between migrant investments and local patterns of social change; more specifically, between remittance-driven housing and the endogenous housing markets, with all of the relevant stakeholders. Overall, the session explores how far transnational housing investments are specific to the migration corridors and contexts of settlement from which remittances are sent (including the biographical circumstances of senders), and how far – instead – they tend to reproduce similar patterns of expectations, house consumption and “housing careers” across migration systems and communities. In either case, while migrant houses are a tangible fruit of remittances, don’t they also make for a new form of social, cultural and material remittance in themselves?


RC43 Housing and Built Environment – joint session with RC31 Sociology of Migration