Temporary Integration for a Life in Transition: The Social and Political Responses to the Challenges of a Segmented Urban Immigrant Society in Muscat (Oman)

Authors

  • Veronika Deffner RWTH Aachen University, Lehr- und Forschungsgebiet Kulturgeographie, Templergraben 55, 52056, Aachen, Deutschland
  • Carmella Pfaffenbach RWTH Aachen University, Lehr- und Forschungsgebiet Kulturgeographie, Templergraben 55, 52056, Aachen, Deutschland

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1007/s13147-013-0224-0

Keywords:

transnational migration, labor migration, integration, segmentation, spatial practice, Oman

Abstract

The contribution examines the issue of international migration and integration from an “alternative” perspective to broaden the view of the social and political challenges discussed to date. The coexistence of heterogeneous groups in urban space is discussed taking the example of Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. Since the process of modernization commenced in 1970, the urban society in Muscat has gradually developed into a segmented immigrant society. The special feature of this young, dynamic immigration society is that Oman does not envisage the (permanent) integration of transnational migrants, nor do the latter. Therefore we regard temporary integration as an alternative pattern of social coexistence taking the different perspectives of the parties concerned into account. First, a couple of conceptual observations on an analysis of integration will be offered. Then, the general social and political framework conditions that regulate the working situation of foreigners in Oman—i.e. the sponsorship system and the policy of Omanisation—will be addressed. Building on this, the contribution will go on to discuss the migrants’ expectations and opportunities concerning integration based on spatial practice, taking as examples the two central aspects of the choice of place of residence and mobility opportunities. The socio-economic position of employees and recognition based on their professional and educational status prove to be the key criteria in this respect.

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Published

2013-06-30

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Section

Research Article

How to Cite

1.
Deffner V, Pfaffenbach C. Temporary Integration for a Life in Transition: The Social and Political Responses to the Challenges of a Segmented Urban Immigrant Society in Muscat (Oman). RuR [Internet]. 2013 Jun. 30 [cited 2024 Jul. 23];71(3):233–245. Available from: https://rur.oekom.de/index.php/rur/article/view/726

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