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TITLE
If you emigrated today, what would you miss from home? - Eric Richards
EXTERNAL ID
AB_SGI_05_ERIC_RICHARDS_Q_07
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF RECORDING
2009
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Eric Richards
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
41041
KEYWORDS
conferences
emigration
lecturers
audio
audios
missfromhome

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As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad.

Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Professor Eric Richards answers the question:

'If you were emigrating today what would you miss most from home?'

'Well again, it's this globalised world. I mean, communication is so much more instantaneous and much more reliable. What you'd miss would be your family. You'd miss the weather, I think, if you were going to Australia. I think we've become so globalised that it's, it's instantaneous; I mean we can talk immediately to anyone back home. One can see them directly. It's almost as though they're living in another suburb now and it's not nearly quite so definitive and wrenching as it used to be. So I think that the world has changed very significantly with regard to migration and it's, it's - there's an awful lot of migration nowadays which is not permanent. There's a lot of circular migration, short term migration, re-migration. It's a profoundly more mobile world for western people particularly. It's different for people of course in other parts of the world; if you're migrating out of Africa, or if you're migrating in certain parts of Asia, it's, the similarities between the nineteenth century and this time are not so great.

The dissimilarities are not so great. People are still very poor when they leave rural parts; they move to cities; they try to move across countries and into other countries, and now there are in fact more impediments to those people than the people in the nineteenth century were facing. So we now have a curiously divided world where some migration is much easier, and much more mobile for people like us in the western world but in the world which is undergoing rapid industrialisation and movement from the countryside in Africa, in parts of Latin America, and in southeast Asia, the movements of people are huge, colossal in numbers, and they are restricted by international constraints on movement. So, moving from Scotland to Australia, say, in 1850, was easier than moving from Indonesia to Australia today, and that's a bit of a paradox in the, in the growing story of migration.'


BIOGRAPHY

Eric Richards is Professor of History at Flinders University, Adelaide, having previously taught at Stirling and Adelaide Universities. His specialist subject is the Highland Clearances and his acclaimed biography of Patrick Sellar was awarded the prize for Scottish History Book of the Year (1999). His most recent books are 'Britiannia's Children. Emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600', (London and New York, Hambledon and London, 2004); 'Debating the Highland Clearances' (Edinburgh University Press 2007) and 'Destination Australia: Migration since 1901' (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press 2008).

Image copyright: Susy Macaulay

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If you emigrated today, what would you miss from home? - Eric Richards

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

2000s

conferences; emigration; lecturers; audio; audios; missfromhome;

Am Baile

Scotland's Global Impact

As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad. <br /> <br /> Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Professor Eric Richards answers the question:<br /> <br /> 'If you were emigrating today what would you miss most from home?' <br /> <br /> 'Well again, it's this globalised world. I mean, communication is so much more instantaneous and much more reliable. What you'd miss would be your family. You'd miss the weather, I think, if you were going to Australia. I think we've become so globalised that it's, it's instantaneous; I mean we can talk immediately to anyone back home. One can see them directly. It's almost as though they're living in another suburb now and it's not nearly quite so definitive and wrenching as it used to be. So I think that the world has changed very significantly with regard to migration and it's, it's - there's an awful lot of migration nowadays which is not permanent. There's a lot of circular migration, short term migration, re-migration. It's a profoundly more mobile world for western people particularly. It's different for people of course in other parts of the world; if you're migrating out of Africa, or if you're migrating in certain parts of Asia, it's, the similarities between the nineteenth century and this time are not so great. <br /> <br /> The dissimilarities are not so great. People are still very poor when they leave rural parts; they move to cities; they try to move across countries and into other countries, and now there are in fact more impediments to those people than the people in the nineteenth century were facing. So we now have a curiously divided world where some migration is much easier, and much more mobile for people like us in the western world but in the world which is undergoing rapid industrialisation and movement from the countryside in Africa, in parts of Latin America, and in southeast Asia, the movements of people are huge, colossal in numbers, and they are restricted by international constraints on movement. So, moving from Scotland to Australia, say, in 1850, was easier than moving from Indonesia to Australia today, and that's a bit of a paradox in the, in the growing story of migration.'<br /> <br /> <br /> BIOGRAPHY<br /> <br /> Eric Richards is Professor of History at Flinders University, Adelaide, having previously taught at Stirling and Adelaide Universities. His specialist subject is the Highland Clearances and his acclaimed biography of Patrick Sellar was awarded the prize for Scottish History Book of the Year (1999). His most recent books are 'Britiannia's Children. Emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600', (London and New York, Hambledon and London, 2004); 'Debating the Highland Clearances' (Edinburgh University Press 2007) and 'Destination Australia: Migration since 1901' (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press 2008).<br /> <br /> Image copyright: Susy Macaulay