Alberto Arribas Lozano
University of the Witwatersrand , Sudáfrica


This article explores the presence/absence of migrants understood as political actors in the Spanish academic literature. First, the author will explore the field of Migration Studies, reviewing the papers presented in five scientific conferences celebrated between 2004-2012, as well as the articles published in the specialized journal Migraciones. Then the author will analyse the papers related to collective action presented in the last four conferences of the Spanish Sociological Association. The study reveals the existence of a double absence: with very few exceptions those scholars studying migrants do not pay attention to collective action, whereas those studying collective action do not pay attention to migrants. These findings call for an intense epistemological vigilance in order to acknowledge the limits of our vision, and impel us to problematize and unsettle the coloniality of knowledge constituting our disciplines.

Keywords: Migration studies, collective action, coloniality of knowledge, social movements.