About the book
In March 2022, another book on human migration seems important when the events or tragedies unfolding in Eastern Europe are considered. People have always migrated and have moved, but, specifically looking at the last three hundred years, involuntary migration is on the rise. Involuntary migration does not only affect Europe; Asia, Africa, and North as well as South America, have had their fair share of natural catastrophes, invasions, and wars.
This book will intend to look at different migrant patterns, voluntary and involuntary migration, over the last three centuries. What influenced people to leave their home countries, family, and friends and settle somewhere else? The book may include histories of the 19th century, consider tragedies and movements activated by political events in the 20th century, and/or look at recent events of the 21st century. Push and pull factors are important points. While most of us may be influenced in a negative way by the current happenings in Eastern Europe, the Russian invasion and resulting tragedies also demonstrate some very positive human traits – the preparedness of Ukraine’s surrounding countries to help those in need and to provide a safe place for the present.
Whether one looks at voluntary or involuntary migration into any country, after a period of adjustment, migrants do play a positive role. The research found that migrants contribute to the economy (food, shelter, employment, tax) and enrich a country’s cultural norms. Prerequisites for successful settlements are that the host society adopts a tolerant approach and that the migrants recognize the law and the language of the host country. Nothing is ever easy or without controversy, but I am a migrant (German Australian), and life in Australia has been relatively harmonious. Issues that could be considered in the book are multicultural societies (do monocultural societies still exist?) and theories of acculturation versus integration (settlement processes).
Two further issues are very important in relation to human migration. There is climate change, global warming, and the environment, which clearly affect people’s movement. Small island populations are very concerned about rising sea levels. 2021 has also seen floods costing human lives: Turkey (August 2021), Brazil (December 2021), Chile (January 2021), and South India (November 2021), to name but a few. In Australia (March 2022), farms and whole townships in New South Wales and Queensland have been flooded for the second time in five years, and plans to resettle these towns are considered. Official and social media provide ample coverage of the events, which leads me to the next issue. There is today’s very important role of the media, of the official and social media. We are constantly bombarded with images of human war tragedies and flood victims. People in industrialized, western countries must be the best-informed populace. How far do the images and up-to-date TV news influence us, make us change our behavior, and perhaps even consider us more generous than we have been?
Climate change and the media are relatively new to the human migration debate, but both issues play important parts, and some interesting discussions are appreciated.