Theresearch field of migration is multifaceted and offers multiple levels ofanalysis. Four different questions have been explored in the field: the origins of migration; the directionality and continuity of migrantflows; the utilization of settlerlabor; and the socio-culturaladaptation of migrants (Portes,1999). Each of these areas can be analyzedat different levels and with different tools and requires individual attention.
‘Mid-range’ theories targeted on one or two of these areas have been moreprevalent than an all-encompassing statement. However, devising a theory whichcan explain all these four aspects of migration remains the ultimate goal ofmigration theorizing (Arango 2000, Massey 1999). Besides the second question addresses the theory ofpopulation mobility, as formulated by Zelinsky (1971) and Skeldon (1990),states that at an early stage of development, people move short distance and morelikely to be non-permanent mobility. With the progresses of development, people move farther and longer. At alater stage of development, people will be engaged in more nonpermanentmobility again, and less on long distance and permanent migration.
According tothis theory, the change in pattern of population mobility will also besequential, from rural areas to small cities, to medium cities, and to largecities (Ananta & Arifin, 2014).Mostdisciplinary assessments evaluate migration research as lacking theoreticaladvancement: while the empirical work is abundant, it is often either separatedfrom the theories or used to confirm rather than to test, question or refinethe existing theoretical propositions(Kurekova, 2011). In the area of migration bases research, there arecurrently a variety of theoretical models or perspectives which employ changeableconcepts, assumptions, frames and levels of analysis (Arango, 2000). Becausethe majority of these theoretical models were developed from definite empiricalobservations, they often grew in isolation and are separated by disciplinaryboundaries (Arango 2000; Castles 2008a).
Modern migration literature (Massey etal. 1993; Todaro and Smith 2006; Faist 2000; Portes 1999) contends thatalthough these theoretical approaches offer different hypotheses, they need notbe considered as mutually exclusive, but rather as complementary. At present, the dominanttheory in explaining causes of migration is the neoclassical theory with its fundamentalassumption that migration is stimulated primarily by rational economicconsiderations of relative costs and benefits, mostly financial but alsopsychological (Todaro and Smith 2006, 342). The theory has been subjected tocriticism on conceptual (Arango 2000) as well as on empirical grounds (Masseyet al. 1998).