345-101-MQ, Understanding Migration: Fallacies and Facts
This course is designed to shed light on the major debates associated with the field of human migration, unfolding both locally and internationally. Drawing from a variety of disciplines in the social sciences and in the arts, we will survey how issues of migration are framed. We will examine and compare approaches and theories that are associated with the study of human movement around the globe. Examples of some of the questions we will address are listed below. • What do people claim to know about migration, and also about immigrants, refugees, and other types of migrants? • How do people shape their knowledge around issues of migration? On what basis do people form their preconceptions about migration? • How accurate are such opinions, beliefs, and assumptions about migration when compared to the reality that is documented factually? Throughout the semester, we will explore how knowledge surrounding aspects of human migration is shaped. We will distinguish those claims that are accurate from those that are not. How do we differentiate what is fact versus what is a fallacy (i.e., a mistaken belief)? How do we then distinguish what is a fallacy from an opinion that may well be based on a reasonable belief? For any claims that are made by the public, the media, or politicians, how do we know that what is being presented is based on accurate knowledge? How do we formulate an effective argument that is based on facts? By addressing such questions, it is possible to enhance one’s knowledge of a specific field.