CONF : Special Issue Launch « World populations on the move : What are they thinking ? Why does it matter ? Social cognition and migration politics » — Thursday 29th september 2022, 5.30pm – 6.30pm, Oxford and online


Moving to a new city, a new country, or a new conti­nent changes how people think about them­selves and others they encounter.

Migra­tion changes people – both those who move and those who stay. As their society changes, so does how people unders­tand time, space, and their place. Because human cogni­tion is chan­ging in a world of migrant flows, poli­cy­ma­kers and social-service provi­ders want to know about who is moving, who is not, and how we make sense of one another.

In “Making Sense of One Another in Cros­sing Borders : Social Cogni­tion and Migra­tion Poli­tics,” special editors Ilka Vari-Lavoi­sier and Susan T. Fiske, with consul­ting editors Chris­tophe Nordman and Douglas S. Massey, convene a group of scho­lars to discuss how new intel­lec­tual approaches – ideas cros­sing disci­pli­nary borders – can inform our unders­tan­ding of people cros­sing borders – migra­tion-based social diver­sity – and the design of public poli­cies in diverse societies.

Through discus­sions of cogni­tion and labour market mobi­lity in India to anxiety among natives and migrants in the UK after the Brexit vote, Fiske and Vari-Lavoi­sier and their authors paint a picture of how indi­vi­dual cogni­tion influences an individual’s deci­sion to migrate, their views on migrants’ social status, or their views of migrants’ reli­gious conver­sion, among other topics. From this indi­vi­dual cogni­tion frame, the editors and authors discuss how broader social and public policy views are shaped. “In other words,” Fiske and Vari-Lavoi­sier write in their intro­duc­tion to the volume, “this first volume on the cogni­tion and migra­tion nexus stands as an invi­ta­tion to deepen the analysis of the rela­tion­ships among internal mental processes, collec­tive repre­sen­ta­tions, social prac­tices, poli­tical struc­tures, and socioe­co­nomic change.”


  • Susan T. Fiske (Prin­ceton)
  • Ilka Vari-Lavoi­sier (Oxford)
  • Douglas S. Massey (Prin­ceton)
  • Chris­tophe Jalil Nordman (IRD)
  • Tom Kecs­ke­methy (American Academy of Poli­tical and Social Science)

Register here.

Refe­rence page