About time too: Migration, Documentation and Temporalities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


This chapter engages with the instability of the category of “migrant” and the importance of state controls over time to creating and governing this figure. Focusing on documents and status and associated temporalities as productive helps us reconnect the bifurcated categories of migrant and citizen. Using the UK as an example it explores three areas where documentary temporalities are of crucial importance: work and sponsorship; asynchronicities between subjective experiences and bureaucratic requirements; and naturalisation processes. Attention to documents as illustrations of the multiple ways in which labour relations and social rights are governed temporally, and conversely to the temporal implications of how work and social rights are governed can help us escape the methodological nationalism of the assumed difference between ‘migrant’ and ‘citizen’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPaper Trais: migrants, documents and legal insecurity in the global north
EditorsJosiah Heyman, Sarah Horton
PublisherDuke University Press
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Dec 2019

Structured keywords

  • Migration Mobilities Bristol


  • employer sponsorship
  • immigration enforcement
  • methodological nationalism


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