Seminar: Marta Bivand Erdal – What shapes migrant housing trajectories over time? Pathways to home ownership among Pakistani immigrants in Oslo from the 1970s till today
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Title: What shapes migrant housing trajectories over time? Pathways to home ownership among Pakistani immigrants in Oslo from the 1970s till today
In this paper we trace pathways to homeownership among Pakistani immigrants and their descendants in Oslo, over half a century. We seek to understand what drives different housing trajectories, considering local opportunities and constraints, the uncertainty of the migrant condition, while attuned to the transnational realities that profoundly shape many migrant lives. Building on three data sources: i) 100 semi-structured interviews since 2007; ii) available survey data on housing among Norwegian-Pakistanis, and iii) 12 ‘housing history interviews’, we identify key factors which impact modes of home ownership, types of housing, and areas of residence, which are desired and/or chosen. The housing histories are inspired by biographical and life-history approaches, migration history chart methodologies, and have been conducted as semi-structured interviews, focusing on housing biographies from the arrival of the first family member in the Oslo-area till today. The method engages participants in mapping their pathways to homeownership across the city, takes account of multiple localities (mainly in the larger Oslo-area), but including transnational housing where it appears. We find that a longitudinal perspective offers valuable insights, allowing for inclusion of transnational economies and realities where relevant, providing an alternative avenue into worn questions of migrant integration processes. This triggers reflections about which aspects of migrant housing trajectories are – and are not – specific to migrants, as compared with non-migrant residents of Oslo.
Bio: Marta Bivand Erdal is Research Professor in Migration Studies, at Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), where she is Co-Director of the PRIO Migration Center. As a Human Geographer she is interested in the impacts of migration and transnationalism in both emigration and immigration contexts. Marta’s work draws on interview, focus group, and survey data, paying critical attention to the use of categories. She has published extensively in migration studies and geography, and regularly engages with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders.
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