The Migrations and Society Research Unit (URMIS) is a Joint Research Unit under the supervision of Paris Diderot University and Nice Sophia Antipolis University, the French Institute for Research on Development (IRD, UMR 205) and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS, UMR 8245).
URMIS is multidisciplinary (sociology, anthropology, history, geography, political science, demography), located in Paris and Nice and works in France and internationally
In January 2018, URMIS comprised 60 members:
- 27 CNRS and IRD researchers
- 25 lecturers or professors from Paris Diderot University and Nice Sophia Antipolis University
- 2 post-doctoral students and 6 technical and support staff
- The unit hosts 52 international doctoral students and researchers
URMIS is a research unit specialised in questions of migration and movement within the context of the creation of social barriers, whether defined in terms of race, ethnicity, territory, culture, gender, etc. The unit studies the processes of identification, categorisation and redefinition of relations of power driven by the migration of people, ideas and beliefs. It implements a constructivist perspective which considers the ethical and racial dimensions of communities and personal identifications as entirely relational social productions, and looks into their relevance as categories of practice used in situations of conflict, in control measures and social or health policies, or in identity affirmation strategies. The research pays particularly close attention to the effects of globalisation on the opening-up of local spaces, the multiplication of supranational and international decision-making bodies, the growth in transnational networks in economic, cultural or religious exchanges. From January 2019, URMIS will be structured around 3 core themes: Migration and Movement; The Making of Otherness: Racial Questions and Discrimination; Belonging, Mobilisations and the Political Sphere.
Research and training
The unit hosts two Master’s degrees at Paris Diderot (a vocational M2 and a research M2R in “Migration and Interethnic Relations” which became “Migration, Racism and Otherness” in 2019) and at Nice Sophia Antipolis University (research M2R “Migration and the Otherness”, now “Migration Studies” in 2019 and a vocational M2 in “Sociological Studies and Diagnoses”). The Unit’s aim is to supervise doctoral and post-doctoral students specialised in the fields of migration, the making of “otherness”, of racism and discriminations, as well as the different forms of belonging and political mobilisation.