Throughout history, humans have risked survival in order to migrate to new and sometimes dangerous areas. Some migrations have been voluntary; others have been forced. Human mobility is of central interest in human geography because it speeds the diffusion of ideas and innovations and can dramatically transform affected areas. The U.S. population is the most mobile in the world. On average, an American citizen moves once in about every six years.
KEY FACTORS in HUMAN MOVEMENT ABSOLUTE and RELATIVE DIRECTION Human movement often results from a perception that conditions are better, safer, easier, or in some other way superior in some distant place. Direction, like location, can be viewed in two ways: absolute direction (define) ….
ABSOLUTE & RELATIVE DISTANCE A second perception that affects human mobility is distance. Again, distance can be measured in both absolute and relative terms. Explain the distinction between the two types of distances. What has research revealed about people’s perceptions of distance and direction? What is the implication?
EXTERNAL & INTERNAL MIGRATION Migration , the long-term relocation of an individual, household, or group to a new location, comes in two types: emigration immigration
INTERNAL MIGRATION Internal migration is permanent movement within the same country. Internal migrants are more numerous than international migrants, due to time-distance decay.
Population geographers are specifically interested in what group(s) are moving, why they are moving, where they are moving, and the impact of the movement.
Internal migration has been a big part of America’s history and it continues to shift in the 21 st century.
CATALYSTS of MIGRATION Human geographers want to know why certain people pull up stakes and leave the familiar for the uncertain. There are up to seven factors that could come into play to explain the movement of people:
ECONOMIC CONDITIONS Poverty has driven countless millions from their homelands and continues to do so.
Perceived opportunities drive them to certain destinations.
POLITICAL CIRCUMSTANCES Throughout history oppressive regimes have created migration streams. The U.S. has a well-known policy of not forcing out political migrants.
Identify the “push” factors for Cuban migrants. What types of “vessels” are they using for their trip? And, how many of these Cuban migrants perish?
ARMED CONFLICT & CIVIL WAR Warfare drives millions of people from their homes each year. Warfare can create and/or exasperate other factors that compel people to migrate.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS Environmental conditions, such as drought ….
… . and excessive rains that can ruin staple crops stimulate migrations. Identify other environmental conditions that could spark mass migrations.
CULTURE & TRADITIONS People who fear that their culture and traditions will not survive a major political transition, and who are able to migrate to places they perceive as safer, will often do so. Explain the examples of this catalyst from the text.
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES For many migrants, emigration is no longer the difficult and hazardous journey it used to be. Millions now use modern forms transportation whose availability can itself encourage migration.
FLOW of INFORMATION Gone is the time when would-be emigrants waited months, even years, for information about distant places. Television, radio, and telephone have stimulated millions of people to migrate by relaying information about relatives, opportunities, and already established communities in destination lands.
“ PUSH” and “PULL” FACTORS Geographers have identified conditions & perceptions that tend to induce people to leave their homes ( push factors ), and they have also identified circumstances that effectively attract people to certain locales from other places ( pull factors ). Some examples of push factors include extreme poverty, ….
… . relentless drought that may last for years, ….
… . mass famine caused by both natural phenomenon and political turmoil, ….
… . civil war uprooting people from their homes, …
… seeking safe haven in the nearest developed country, and …
… . for some people, climate may be a key push factor and/or pull factor. Provide additional push factors.
And a key pull factor is employment in other cities ….
… . and/or countries. These guest workers from North Africa are working in Paris. Generally speaking, what type of work do these foreign “guest” workers perform? Provide additional pull factors. In the end, which set of factors tends to be perceived more accurately?
DISTANCE DECAY Prospective migrants are likely to have more complete & accurate perceptions of nearer places than farther ones. Thus, the intensity of human activity declines as distance from its source increases. Many migration streams that appear on maps as long, unbroken routes in fact consist of a series of stages, a phenomenon known as step migration – provide an example.
INTERVENING OPPORTUNITY Not all migrants complete their step migration . Along the way the majority are captured by an intervening opportunity and/or an intervening obstacle. Describe this phenomenon. How can intervening opportunity impact the tourist industry?
VOLUNTARY and FORCED MIGRATIONS Geographers focus on a pair of opposites: the luxury of choice and the fear of compulsion. The two can be classified as voluntary and forced migrations . Provide and explain examples of each type. In recent times, counter migrations have become a policy and/or phenomenon in developed countries. Provide examples. Why would developed countries do this?
THE GEOGRAPHY of DISLOCATION Forced migrations tend to produce social crises, creating groups of people called refugees . The world’s refugee population is growing much faster than the total population and increasingly spreading problems. Distinguish the difference(s) between international and intranational refugees. The United Nations and other agencies must make difficult decisions when they distinguish between genuine refugees and migrants who may be just as poor or desperate, but who do not qualify for refugee status. For the individual(s) in question, why is so much at stake?
Regarding Palestinian refugees scattered in different Middle East countries, distinguish between permanent refugees and temporary refugees. What factors might host countries consider when labeling refugees?
REFUGEE CHARACTERISTICS International agencies utilize three criteria for categorizing migrants as refugees: Identify and explain three categories.
Refugee movements often happen suddenly because of natural disasters and/or turmoil, and can involve millions in a matter of weeks, if not days. This means that the refugee map changes frequently.
To stem the flow of refugees from developing countries, developed countries often deploy soldiers as peacekeepers to restore order. Given world events, what appears to be the trend regarding the international refugee map?