The Next Great Migration: A bracing look at racial hierarchies

Book review: Sonia Shah convincingly argues that categorising humans prevents us from seeing people of all colours as, basically, the same

The Next Great Migration: At its core this book is a dismissal of spurious categorisation, and the use of categories to keep things in their place, whether geographically, politically or in any other sense.

The Next Great Migration: At its core this book is a dismissal of spurious categorisation, and the use of categories to keep things in their place, whether geographically, politically or in any other sense.

Sonia Shah and her publishers cannot have anticipated that this book would emerge at such an apposite time. Written in the context of a decade of growing political tension surrounding migration in both Europe and the US, it has been released at the precise moment when so many of us are questioning the morality of racial categorisation and how it is used to oppress.

The Next Great Migration is a bracing book. At its core is a dismissal of spurious categorisation, and the use of categories to keep things in their place, whether geographically, politically or in any other sense. She deconstructs the idea that particular flora and fauna belong only in specific settings and that their movement is somehow aberrant or unnatural. In fact, living things – understood in the broadest sense – have been moving forever.

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