Spectrums of in/formality and il/legality: negotiating business and migration-related statuses in arrival spaces

Biehl Öztuzcu, Kristen (2022) Spectrums of in/formality and il/legality: negotiating business and migration-related statuses in arrival spaces. Migration Studies (SI), 10 (2). pp. 112-129. ISSN 2049-5838 (Print) 2049-5846 (Online)

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Across global cities of the world, urban spaces of arrival tend to be characterized by a multiplicity of informal practices, and therefore also marginality, being most preva- lent in relation to local economic practices, and increasingly more the legal status of foreigner migrants residing in such spaces. This article aims to understand these dy- namics in arrival spaces at the margins by exploring both domains in a unique man- ner. Over recent decades, urban and migration studies have separately given rise to new research that is critical of the pervasive binary views around formal versus infor- mal economies and legal versus illegal migrations. Drawing on this literature, and ethnographic fieldwork carried out in an Istanbul locality that has served as a zone of arrival for varying migration flows over several decades, this article examines how both business proprietors and migrants working and/or residing in the locality ac- tively and continuously re-negotiate their positions within spectrums of in/formality and il/legality. It shows that arrival spaces at the margins are places of intense calcu- lation and that the chosen direction along these spectrums depends on an evalu- ation of all kinds of social, political, spatial, and temporal factors transpiring at a particular moment and place. In focusing on this processual nature of in/formalities and il/legalities, the article also suggests reconsidering various other dualities, including margins versus center, exclusion versus inclusion, and arrival versus settle- ment, and argues that the intensity of having to manage one’s experiences of these dualities is what really distinguishes inhabiting arrival spaces at the margins in today’s global cities.
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: diversity; dualisms; informal economy; irregular migration; urban ethnography; Turkey
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Gender and Women's Studies Research and Application Center
Depositing User: Kristen Biehl Öztuzcu
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2022 15:37
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2023 15:56
URI: https://research.sabanciuniv.edu/id/eprint/44824

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