Never before have such large numbers of people been willing, able or forced to give up their workplace or place of residence, be it temporarily or permanently, due to war, natural disasters, civil wars and other immediate dangers as well as technologically induced changes of space and time: we live in the era of migration.
Migration is accompanied by processes of change. Simultaneously, though, migration affirms and reshapes known and established structures. Nevertheless, viewing the phenomenon of migration as a mere change and modification is decidedly too shortsighted and limited. The term ‘migration’ marks a phenomenon of actual movement, but it also refers to the subject matter of discourses, political and everyday debates which have different answers to the question of whether to maintain the status quo or to instigate social transformation. Through migration questions of belonging become topics of theoretical analysis on an individual and social level. This does not apply to questions of ‘migrant’ belonging and issues of citizenship only, but rather has to be considered in a broader social context. Under conditions of migration natio-ethno-cultural relations of belonging are thus problematized and considered in general.