How useful are models when investigating migration? Essay

There are seven types of migration models; they are Ravenstein’s model, gravity model, Stouffers model, Lee’s model, Zelinsky’s model, push-pull model and the stepwise model.

In the 1880s Ravenstein put forward ‘The Laws of Migration’ based on observations of patterns in UK, supplemented date from the US. The laws are:

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Most migrants travel short distances and their numbers decrease with an increasing distance. Migration occurs in waves, was one group leaves then that space left will be filled up by another group. Emigration is the opposite of immigration. Most migration shows two way movements, as people tend to move in out of region, resulting to net migration flows. The longer the journey of a migrant, the more likely it will be that he/she is heading for a major city. Urban dwellers are less likely to move. Females migrate more than males but less distance. Most migrants follow a step migration, where several small movements from village to major city rather than one large movement. People are leaving rural areas in increasing numbers an example of this is Sakaltutam, Turkey to Pforzheion.

People mainly migrate for economic purposes such as jobs; an example of this is the migration of people from Gwynedd to Cardiff in Wales. Most migrants are between 20 and 34. This model is very useful because it helps explain that most migrants move to find a better job and they mainly move to cities to find jobs. This is a good model but I think it’s outdated because it was thought of in the 1880s during the industrial revolution where people were moving to find jobs and I don’t think the Ravenstein theory will still be useful in this age. His model is good but it needs updating because it doesn’t include factors such as wars.

The gravity model is where migrants are attracted towards larger towns than smaller towns. This model is useful because it helps explain that migrants will go to larger cities such as London than Bristol because of more chances of better opportunities. This model is useful in LEDC countries as well such as people in Matos Crass, Brazil move to Rio de Janeiro for a better job. However there is weaknesses in this, the theory doesn’t comply with counter urbanisation because people are moving out of large towns to smaller ones and the theory says that people always move to larger towns.

Stouffer’s model is the number of migrants moving from one town (1) to another (2) is directly related to the number of opportunities available at (2) but its inversely proportional to the number of intervening opportunities between (1) and (2).

This model is useful because it helps explain that people will move from one town to another due to job opportunities, an example is people from Powys move to Swansea. But if there are opportunities between the 2 areas than the migration to (2) will be smaller. This model is quite useful because it states that movement of people is directly related to the opportunities available and helps with the anomaly and that not all people from (1) will go to (2), there will be job opportunities in between the two places and they will settle there. Also this backs up one of Ravenstein laws that most migrants move short distances and if they find their opportunity in a shorter distance then there is no point of migrating even further, so they settle on route to (2).

Lee model tried to explain that the factors affecting migration are in terms of the push and pull factors of the destination. Migrants must expect to receive some added advantage in moving from one place to another. Also movements from an area such as the rural area to the final destination such as a city are likely to be influenced by obstacles at either at the current area, the final destination or during the route. Such obstacles might include family pressures, misinformation, national policy & travel costs, lack of capital, and lack of literacy and military service military service. Lee also believed that people may move to the city due to job opportunities but they might not move because it’s polluted and depressing.

A case study is that people from Ethiopia are moving to France and Italy due to political problems. Lee’s model helps the movement of migration by involving push-pull factors; this is a very logical theory. This theory can be quite useful because it gives a logical explanation to movement an example is farmers in copmanthorpe are migrating to cities such as Newcastle to find better jobs. Also his theory uses Stouffers model and the push-pull model and this is good because it gives a better understanding of migration because its 2 models packed into one also it also solve Ravenstein’s problems because it includes factors such as war unlike Ravenstein’s. But it has weaknesses though because Lee thought of his model using statistics from the past to develop his theory but society is developing and those statistics won’t be viable.

Zelinsky’s model suggested that there might be a transition to patterns of migration just as there is for demographic change. In his model there are five stages:

(i) In a pre-industrial society there is little residential migration and limited movement between areas.

(ii) An early transitional stage of considerable rural-urban migration and the colonization of new lands with the associated growth of longer distance migration

(iii) In the third stage rural-urban migration continues and there is a rapid rise in migration between cities

(iv) Rural-urban migration may continue but at a markedly reduced rate; residential migration remains high but in the form of migration in and between cities rather than emigration. There may be some immigration of unskilled workers and highly trained professional workers may be exchanged between countries as a result of the operations of multinational companies

(v) Advanced societies will have almost exclusively inter/intra- urban migration. Although new technology will reduce the need for migration and there will be less need for some types of circulation such as long distance journeys to work. Movement between countries or within countries are affected by the legislation put by a country.

This model is very useful because it states the different stages of migration there are, advanced societies such as UK are facing counter urbanisation but areas such as Sierra Leone are at early transition stage. This model works for both LEDC and MEDC countries, it states the rate of migration but it doesn’t say where the migration is happening, but it does state the future of developing areas such as Sierra Leone, where it eventually will end at stage 4.

The push-pull theory is that a migration is a result of push factors at the origin and pull forces at the destination. Examples of push forces are famine, war and poverty. Examples of pull forces are availability of food, peace and wealth. This is useful, it states why people are migrating towards an area but it is too brief, the theory is a bit like Lee’s model but brief and it doesn’t have statistical figures backing the theory up.

Stepwise model is when people migrate from rural areas to cities in stages and vice versa and normally people move from rural areas to towns to cities but the stepwise model also suggests that people move back to rural areas causing counter urbanisation. This is useful it states where people migrate from Gwynedd to Cardiff, but it doesn’t show why people there.

This models are useful in their own ways, but in terms of investigating migration as a whole, stating where it is, how it happened and what’s going to happen with migration, the models singly aren’t very useful but if the are used together it is very useful when investigating migration because it states where the migration is and what stage its at, it states why there is migration and the future of migration in LEDC could be determined by looking at the stage its at by looking at the Zelinsky’s model, it only shows the rate of migration in the LEDC but if the model is used with Lees model the direction of the migration can be known. This concludes that, using the models together can give a better investigation of migration.


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