Wednesday, 16 April 2008

The third course

Well, after these first six months of the PhD education, all three obligatory courses at CUReS are over. The third course, Politics and Democracy in Cities and Regions, ended with two interesting seminars. The last one about other PhD students' dissertations, the one before about classical Political Science texts. For that one, I chose Patrick Le Galès book about European Cities. It provided some good insights but didn't leave a lasting impression for my own thesis. I had been thinking about reading Esping-Andersen's "Three worlds of welfare capitalism" or one of Castells' works in urban sociology. However, after reconsideration, it seems as though they won't be significant for my study. Moreover, I have already read "Three worlds" and four of Castells' books. So it was worth trying something new. However, at the time of writing I cannot spontaneoulsy think of what European Cities has contributed with. I am already getting oblivious!
On the other hand, the thesis that I chose for the final seminar was very interesting. Written by a human geographer from the "Umeå school", it provides many valuable insights in sparsely populated areas and their struggle for economic, demographic and social survival. Linda Lundmark wrote this compilation thesis, and it is interesting to see the structure of such a thesis, including the articles and the first few chapters. I am also thinking of writing a compilation thesis and I have started thinking in the direction of interesting purposes and subjects for my articles.
This third course, with the parts about discourse analisys, research design and the like, together with the other coursers, offers a broad base for the coming time! Now, our works focuses on the research proposal and other courses that we're doing (Pedagogics for Higher Education, e.g.). More news about that soon.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Emigrate 2008

Well, it's been a while since I last wrote, but here's an update about a trip I made: to Emigrate 2008. This is an Emigration Fair in Utrecht, the Netherlands. I was 'back home' during the first 11 days in March for this fair, but of course also for visiting friends and family. The idea of the fair is to bring people from the demand and the supply side together: certain regions or organisations anywhere in the world that want to attract immigrants on the one hand, and migrants that want to leave the Netherlands and look for a live elsewhere on the other hand.
During the two days of the fair, I conducted a small survey by taking questionnaires from all but one stand at the swedish part and 33 Dutch visitors that are interested in moving to Sweden. It was very interesting just to observe how this industry is arranged and even more interesting to hear the (live)stories of some potential migrants. Their reasons for wanting to move in a nut shell: looking for "Rust & Ruimte" (quiet & space), nature and a more relaxed pace of life, and being fed up with the rat race, traffic jams and 'overregulated Dutch society'. More about this can be found in a Survey Report that I wrote; just send me a mail if you're interested:
It has been a very useful pilot project and it helped me in orientating how I want to structure my research! More to come soon about the third course and the research prosposal.