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Stack of Books
Posted on Thursday 11 January 2007 at 10:36 am

Random questions based on last night's and this morning's books

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What exactly is the difference between an emigrant, an immigrant, and a migrant?

I think an emigrant is one who leaves a country, an immigrant is one who goes to a country, and a migrant is one who seasonally/cyclically goes back and forth, but I'm not sure. And if that is correct, at what point does an emigrant become an immigrant? And what are you if you move from place to place within a country? A migrant even if the move is intended to be permanent and not cyclical?

EDIT: I'm reading a review right now and the reviewer repeatedly says things like "Alison Games gamely and often ingeniously" does something or "Nicholas Canny's canny observations" are important. Am I the only one who thinks that kind of thing is almost as bad as serious/Sirius and should not be included, especially not repeatedly, in a professional scholarly book review?
Feeling: confused
Exploring: My Office in Blair
Listening: Billie Jean - Michael Jackson


lady_bracknell at 3:52 pm on 11 January 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I think that's right. Over here they talk a lot about 'economic migrants', people who basically follow the work from one country to the next - so I'm guessing that it's more of a transient thing.

Although the immigrant/emigrant thing is confusing - you emigrate from where you are, and become an immigrant once you land?
bratty_jedi at 3:56 pm on 11 January 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I'm most used to migrant referring to laborers coming from Mexico to Texas / Arizona / California / Florida / surprisingly North Carolina for harvest and the like and then returning home, which is where I got the seasonal assumption.

So what would you be while on the boat in the middle of the ocean? Emigrant? Immigrant? Lost and confused?
lady_bracknell at 5:02 pm on 11 January 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I've no idea. It's like that whole Apparate/Disapparate thing - when do you stop Disapparating from a place and start Apparating to the new one? Are you emmigrating until you get half way, and then immigrating?
bratty_jedi at 5:23 pm on 11 January 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Excellent point. Do you suppose everything really does connect back to Harry Potter or is it just in our minds?
lady_bracknell at 6:51 pm on 11 January 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I think it's either a) JKR has so insidiously woven herself through the fabric of the world's existence, that you can, in fact, see HP everywhere, or b) s'just us. ;)
bratty_jedi at 7:02 pm on 11 January 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I'm leaning toward "woven herself into the fabric of the universe." Makes all the time I spend thinking about werewolves, metamorphmagi, and other related topics seem like not quite so much a frivolous waste of time.
katester25 at 5:51 am on 01 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)


My understanding is that one can be an immigrant and an emigrant simultaneously, depending on the country of reference. Someone born in Oaxaca but living permanently in Chicago is both a Mexican emigrant and an immigrant to the US. Emigrant status is rather permanent, I think (unless one goes home, of course).

'Migrant' can refer to someone who moves within or between several countries, often seasonally or otherwise temporarily.

Just don't ask for a definition of 'transnational,' please...

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