The study of population movements requires the expertise of disciplines which emphasise the measurement and documentations of large flows of people and the processes creating them and of those which examine the cultural, economic and political coordinates and consequences of migration. In this programme, these approaches are linked and complementary.
From the 1950s and early 1960s there have been migrations of people, especially from former colonies, into the European urban centres. Subsequently, discourses of ‘assimilation’ and ‘integration’ were opened up, in different countries of Europe. As the idea of a multicultural society has emerged, these concepts together with traditional ideas of citizenship and national identity have been challenged.
These migrations have been understood as driven by simple economic motors: disadvantage in the homeland, opportunity in the new land. These do play an important part, as do migrations impelled by civil war and political collapse. But these migrations - and their cultural and political consequences - should also be seen as managed and negotiated. The managers of migration are not just states. To the simple dichotomy of individual and state must be added the many institutions which have become part of this management process. International migration is an international business, with a vast turnover, providing thousands of jobs world-wide, and managed by individuals, networks, agencies and institutions each of which has an interest in developing a sector of the business. The question, then, is how do these different interests accommodate each other?
Parts of the project
This Programme views migration or ‘movement’ more widely than a ‘standard’ framework of “departure from A and settlement in B”. Movement is conceptualised as including a migration for settlement through to shorter-term and flexible movements in internationalised labour markets, each capable of metamorphosing into something else through a set of processes which are increasingly institutionally driven. Mobility streams are dynamic and pliant and can involve onward movements as well as regular or permanent return to the country of origin. They involve different types of people and motivations, have different roles and methods of insertion into host societies, and are influenced and managed by different agencies and institutions. Project 1.1 (expertise and transnational corporations), 1.2 (academic globalisation), 1.3 (student mobility) and Project 2 (trafficking) can be seen as examples of movements which are managed and operated partly by individuals and states, but also by a set of mediating institutions.
Projects 3 (segregation) and 4 (social capital) focus on areas closely related to migrations. Patterns of social segregation are often established in the early phase of a migration; social capital may be transported from the country of origin and mobilised globally and can result in upward mobility and/or closed communities. In both project geographical mobility is linked to questions of social, political and cultural change. How, for example, do the new highly skilled and highly educated global migrants see themselves: as adopting a new home, as cosmopolitans with no home, or as members of a community of likeminded transnationals? Or, taking up some of the themes of current politics, do kinship networks based on intercontinental 'arranged marriages' foster or retard family prosperity, and, in a context of global migration, are some religious sects - historically, a transnational phenomena - defining themselves in opposition to secular modernity, and ultimately challenging the legitimacy of some host states?
Most western societies now, in both symbolic and material terms are accommodating to cultural ‘difference’. The longer-standing theme of racial equality and universal human rights has been joined by a politics of (cultural) recognition, as some of the new citizens argue citizenship rights do not solve problems of cultural difference. Thus the political response to inequalities and discrimination in civil society and to unjust nation-states is shaped both by a universalism as well by those who argue national identity and citizenship must be re-imagined in a forward-looking way so that they reflect the cultural identities of the new population mix rather than of the past.
These questions will be fully explored in projects 5.1 and 5.2 on National Identity and Citizenship. Specific foci, which seem to be becoming increasingly important and must feature in future research, include the accommodation of religious difference, especially in the case of religions that resist the 'privatisation' of religion characteristic of Western societies. Equally important is the neglected topic of the attitudes of the 'host' population to the perceived changes that migration, settlement and diasporic 'colonies' create to 'our country' and the sense of loss or decline associated with globalisation; a study of migration must not be reduced to a study of migrants.
Our proposed programme brings together two phenomena - the management of diverse and complex movements and the management of cultural, ethnic, religious and ‘racial’ differences - within a flexible and theoretically eclectic framework. Each of the institutional partners to this proposal have an expertise and an international reputation in studying one of these phenomena. We have come together in this proposal because we believe that interdisciplinarity and institutional collaboration have great promise. Contemporary migration, its character and consquences, the ways in which it is a dimension of globalised economies and is changing societies in marked ways, can best be understood when studied together.
List of Projects
• 1. Migration and movement among the highly skilled
• 1.1 The Movement of Expertise, Trans-national Corporations and International Labour Markets
• 1.2. Globalisation: the case of academic staff
• 1.3 Foreign Students and the Labour Market
• 2. Migrant trafficking and human smuggling
• 3. Segregation and the Transition from School to Work
• 4. Social Capital, Gender and Differential Outcomes
• 5. National Identity and Citizenship
• 5.1 National Identity, Citizenship and Religious ‘Difference’
• 5.2 Nation, Class and Ressentiment
Project 1: Migration and movement among the highly skilled
The following three projects are interlinked in design, will exchange insights on an on-going basis and the results will be brought together to develop a theoretical framework looking at the internationalisation of knowledge-based employment in the private sector, a public sector and the acquisition of credentials.
Project 1.1: The Movement of Expertise, Transnational Corporations and International Labour Markets
The starting point for this proposal is that the international migration of high-level skills is one form of the international movement of expertise. This movement has evolved as a consequence of the organic process of business developments, creating corporate personnel whose skills are internationally mobile and marketable, and who are accustomed and expecting to work anywhere in the world. For most companies, employee expertise is regarded as mobile in any direction. There is also growing competition by governments to attract high level skills thought to be essential for economic growth. Most research on this mobility has focused on the expatriation of highly-skilled staff and on schemes to attract staff. There is now some evidence, scattered and by no means conclusive, that companies are seeking and using new ways of acquiring and geographically allocating the human expertise they require in their operations. At present, it is unclear whether these novelties are a response to new business, products or markets, or to changes in the cost regimes associated with existing tasks.
The proposed research builds upon the MRU’s substantial track record in this area (e.g. Koser and Salt, 1997; Salt, 1997, Salt, 2001) The main research questions are:
1. How are governments and employers seeking to attract expertise and with what success?
2. How far and in what ways is there substitution of one form of mobility for another (e.g. short-term secondments or weekly commuting instead of permanent or long-term relocation)?
3. How far and in what ways is there localisation of recruitment?
4. To what extent is electronic transmission of expertise occurring in place of physical movement, leading to the ‘migration of brains without bodies’?
The project will rely mainly on a survey of firms , using a hierarchical survey design to include senior human resources managers and individual employees.
The research will be highly significant at a theoretical level, in its reconceptualisation of migration as movement. The findings will have considerable implications for employers, seeking to make the best use of their human capital and for government seeking to enhance UK competitiveness in the global market for skills.
Project 1.2: Globalisation: the case of academic staff
Many universities are now global institutions, with many of the features of global business, reflecting the extent to which knowledge, scientific advance and patenting has become an important business and an engine of economic success. In Britain this mostly refers to an elite of some 20 universities who attract a large number of international students, have sizable proportions of their academic staff drawn from overseas (12.5% nationally, much higher in some institutions). The pathways of students in the international knowledge markets in many respects matches the pathways of academic staff. In the case of doctoral and postdoctoral students and researchers the two markets, for students seeking qualifications and universities seeking highly qualified staff, are merged, and status switching is common. At the point of completion of a doctorate the research engineer (for example) leaves the first market and joins the second. This project will study the internationalisation of academic employment in Britain, and project 1c will focus on the international student market.
1. What is the scale of and what are the processes at work in this globalisation of British academia?
2. What implications does it have for the careers and personal well-being of individuals? Is Britain a temporary stop and if so, is it because they don’t feel welcome here, they wish to return home or their career is progressed through a move to a third country?
Building on our earlier work on ethnicity and higher education, Carter, Fenton and Modood (1999) and Fenton Carter and Modood (2000), which alerted us to the large presence of overseas staff in British universities, we will analyse the a number of years of Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) national data. This will enable some trend analysis and this will be compared to published data available on other European and US institutions. Experience of individuals will be explored through depth interviews and focus groups with a sample, structured using key demographic and institutional variables; British nationals (of varied ethnicities) will also be interviewed in some selected institutions with a high international character to discover if their own CVs are equally international and to find out about their perception about the international character of their workplace.
Theoretically, a conceptualisation of academic globalisation and its institutional and market processes will be achieved. Practically, there will be data to enable policy-makers to make British institutions more effective and attractive players in this market place.
Project 1.3 Foreign Students and the Labour market
This project focuses on the links between the international movement of expertise within academe brought about by the mobility of students and the growing recognition by destination governments of the desirability of recruiting foreign graduates studying in their countries directly into their labour markets upon conclusion of their studies. It will be related to and build on project 1.2.
Recent research (McLaughlan and Salt, 2002) has identified status switching by foreign graduates as an important strategy being adopted by several countries, including the UK, to increase their skills base. The specific issues to be tackled are:
1. What are the main trends across the world in the recruitment of foreign students within university systems?
2. What policies are being developed by governments to allow foreign students to enter their labour markets directly?
3. With respect to the UK, how far is such switching a viable strategy in the accumulation of expertise and improvement of national competitive positions?
The project will bring together the analysis of existing sources of higher education data for a range of countries and will link in with project 1b in this regard. It will also incorporate surveys of individual foreign students in UK universities and of employers in the IT sector who have recruited foreign graduates from UK universities.
The findings will help governments evaluate their policies with respect to student recruitment and switching into full-time employment and enable employers to assess the costs and benefits of taking on overseas graduates.
Project 2: Migrant Trafficking and Smuggling
These topics are rising on political agendas but remain understudied (Salt, 2000; Koser, 2000). This project develops research by Koser and Salt and elaborates an existing empirically-derived model (Salt and Stein, 1997). It has two parts. Funding for Part 1 has already been applied for elsewhere. If that is successful, then Part 2 will be funded through this proposal; otherwise we plan to go ahead with Part 1 here.
The project has three main research questions:
1. How are smugglers and traffickers changing the geography of international migration?
2. How are migrant trafficking and smuggling developing as businesses?
3. What are the implications of smuggling and trafficking for migrants themselves?
Part 1 The Geography of Human Smuggling and Trafficking
Part 1 is targeted on migrants and will focus on both origins and destinations, specifically Pakistan and the UK. The project will collect, combine and analyse an extensive amount of new qualitative and quantitative data on trafficking within a new theoretical framework. The innovative element in this study is the interdisciplinarity of a ‘both ends’ study.
Part 2 Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking as a Business
Part 2 is targeted on traffickers and smugglers themselves and on the institutional context, including a major transit country (Poland) and the labour market impact in the UK of trafficked and smuggled migrants. The study is exploratory as so far no satisfactory methodology has been developed for surveying traffickers and smugglers so. A survey will be carried out of ‘travel agencies’ in Pakistan, in reception centres and other transit centres in Eastern Europe, among migrant organisations in the UK and with individual migrants themselves.
The project will (a) provide an overview of trafficking and smuggling processes as they affect migrants, communities and institutions; (b) evaluate the methodology in light of the information obtained and its interpretation; (c) examine existing concepts of trafficking and smuggling in the light of factual evidence and (d) develop a more refined model of the processes in the light of research evidence and conclusions drawn about its validity and utility.
Project 3: Segregation and the Transition from School to Work
The literature on segregation and economic performance of ethnic minorities, especially in the US, differentiates between two major types of residential segregation: ethnic enclaves and ghettos (Bailey and Waldinger 1991; Portes 1987; Zhou 1995; Zhou and Nordquist 1994; on measurement of segregation and ethnic enclaves see for example Poulsen, Johnston and Forrest (2002 and 2001)).
These forms of segregation are very different from each other (Zhou 2004). According to Zhou we can identify three main differences between enclaves and ghettos: 1) the type of residents and their socio-economic features, 2) social organization, and 3) patterns of social relations and networks. Generally speaking, this literature suggests that ethnic enclaves save minority workers from the harsh conditions of the secondary labour market, and from racial discrimination in the primary labour market, and sometimes providing them with better employment contracts than they would otherwise obtain. It also promotes their ability (at both the individual and the group levels) to generate socio-economic mobility by relying on the inter-ethnic resources available within the enclave.
In Britain, as number of studies have shown, all ethnic minority groups exhibit some residential concentration though the level varies significantly across groups. While some black and Indians are relocating into outer areas of better-quality housing making them less segregated than other groups such as Pakistani and Bangladeshi (Pilkington 2003; Harrison 2003), the segregation of the latter does not necessarily reflect a desire to lead separate lives (Phillips, 2004). In a recent study it has been revealed that the residential segregation of ethnic minorities results in educational segregation (Johnston, Wilson and Burgess 2004), which in turn raises questions about educational performance of minority students and to what extent educational segregation restricts or reinforces their attainments. This latter question is very relevant to this research as education is a key factor in the transition to employment.
In this research we are interested in looking at the relationship between residential segregation of ethnic minorities in Britain and their educational attainment and the process of transition from school/college to work. While focussing on early years of employment, we will seek to address the following larger questions:
1. To what extent ethnic concentration (residential segregation) is a form of deprivation (ghettos) or a form of ethnic enclave that promote the economic and social resources of minorities?
2. To what extent does residential segregation restrict educational attainment? In addressing this question we aim to examine the likelihood of a person who lives in a highly segregated area to obtain a certain qualification, a degree, for example, vis-à-vis someone who lives in less segregated area.
3. To what extent the relationship between educational attainment and labour market outcomes is influenced by segregation? In other words, will minority people who live in segregated areas receive lower returns to their educational attainment than those residing in less segregated areas?
In each case, we will be interested in measurement but also in identifying the causal processes beyond the statistical correlations. Thus, by answering these questions, the study will contribute to the understanding of the dynamics of residential segregation in Britain and how it links to various issues such as unemployment and occupational segregation and, more generally, to the prospects of social mobility and racial equality.
In order to deal with these questions we will carry out two types of studies: quantitative and qualitative. In the former we will analyse data from the 2001 UK census and other datasets, and in the latter we will collect and analyse qualitative data that we believe will illuminate the quantitative analyses by elaborating the experiences, perceptions, practices and behaviours on the part of jobseekers and employers that lead to the outcomes captured in the quantitative analyses. The exact details of the qualitative study, including the research sites, will be determined in the light of the results of the initial quantitative analyses.
Addressing these questions will have clear policy implications as various government departments and other agencies have identified segregation as a likely cause of the high unemployment rate amongst some ethnic minorities and in the light of the ethnic disturbances that took place in Britain in 2001.
Project 4. Gender, Social Capital and Differential Outcomes
This project considers how similar migrant groups may achieve divergent economic and cultural outcomes. Utilising our expertise with Asian Muslims (Modood et al, 1997) we focus on two communities of Pakistani heritage in Manningham in Bradford, and in Slough in Berkshire. Both might be described as communities where young people have high levels of exposure to familial culture and community values. Yet Manningham remains an area of considerable public concern manifest in the street disturbances of summer 2001 – which were seen as indicative of both low levels of economic achievement for young men, and their participation in British forms ‘deviant’ masculinity.
Why should such similar migrant groups have divergent economic and cultural outcomes? The project focuses on this question in three ways. First, it employs the notion of ‘social capital’ to examine how community values, norms and structures may determine which ethnic groups achieve economic social mobility (Zhou, forthcoming). Second, it explores questions of ‘social capital’ through a gendered and generational analysis, asking how men and women may enact community values differently (Dwyer, 1999; Thapar-Bjorkert and Banon, 2001). Third, the question is explored through a comparative case study which enables both a sensitivity to the geography of socio-economic opportunities and an understanding of how similar communities may operate different models of ‘social capital’.
1. What community values and norms are being transmitted and resisted and does this help to determine whether the concept of ‘social capital’ might be a useful tool in analysing socio-economic achievement?
2. Do young men and women respond differently to such community values and does this manifest itself in differential academic and employment outcomes?
3. What Asian masculinities are being developed and how do these intersect with wider British masculine youth cultures?
Research methods in both communities will include focus groups, in-depth interviews and participant observations within a range of different spaces including schools, homes and community spaces.
An analysis of ‘social capital’ within these two communities and consideration of the value of this popular social science concept to community development and alleviation of socio-economic disadvantage will be of theoretical significance and a contribution to the policy discussions following the riots of 2001.
Project 5. National Identity and Citizenship
We propose two linked projects which come at different angles on one of the major consequence of migration. They will mutually inform each other and we will explore their joint, as well as the specific light they throw on the stresses and strains within British national identity today.
Project 5.1 National Identity, Citizenship and Religious ‘Difference’
Now that, through migrations from the global South, most western societies are multi-ethnic and culturally diverse, some fear that the basis of social unity, and ultimately of national identity, is under threat. They believe we need a strong policy of integration that works to pull people together into a single common culture, emphasises what people have in common and discourages an obsessive ‘identity politics’. That assimilation is the price of equality. Others believe that this privileges dominant cultures and so is not compatible with equality and democracy. They argue that old-fashioned ideas of nationalism have to give way to a celebration of multiple identities, of redefining national identities (CMEB, 2000).
For some years now, but especially in 2001, following disturbances in some Northern cities and ‘September 11’, this debate has come increasingly to focus on Muslims. It is asked – in government reports, the media and in conversations – whether the commitment that Muslims have to their religion and community is compatible with British, democratic, liberal, secular norms.
1. What are the key aspects of the current debate about national identity in England (including British identity) and how it relates to issues to do with race, ethnicity, migration and cultural difference?
2. Why, amongst both nationalists and multiculturalists, have Muslims have come to be regarded as the most problematic case, and how have British Muslims responded to this? (Modood, 1992 and 2002)
3. What notions of citizenship and identity are being constructed and contested through the debate about faith schools? (Dwyer, 1993)
Political speeches, media debates, think-tank pamphlets and books will be analysed.
Some focus group discussions and in-depth interviews will be undertaken with selected groups of people to identity how people feel about national identity, what changes are occurring in their thinking and what role perceptions about Muslims play in this.
The study will rectify the neglect of religion in the theorising and study of ‘difference’, citizenship and national identity. It will enable a clearer perspective on many matters to do with integration and Asians/Muslims as raised by the recent White Paper, matters which are only increasing in saliency in this and many other countries.
NB. Modood has already been promised funds by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in this area and is currently working or has been invited to work with research teams in W.Europe, Australia and the US, so this study is likely to be part of a set of comparative studies.
Project 5.2 Nation, Class and Ressentiment
Under-researched in much of the study of national identity is a direct and purposive research attention to the ‘ethnic majority’. The focus will be on selected groups or ‘niches’ in English society, within which we can explore the understandings of multicultural Britain and the dispositions towards it. We hypothesize that views of multicultural Britain will be closely related to wider views of the desirability or otherwise of rapid social and cultural change in Britain at large and in local communities. This will, then, be an exploration of political and cultural understandings in ‘white England’. In order to explore differences in our four selected groups in British society we will define social niches by a broad-based class conceptualisation. This is to explore the hypothesis that in different class cultures we will find different articulations of social change and its desirability, and therefore different ‘takes’ on multicultural Britain, drawing on ideas of ‘ressentiment’ and modernity (Scheler, 1972; Rattansi, 1994; Fenton, forthcoming).
1. What part have population movements and demographic change played in the re-thinking of British national identity?
2. How does the perception of ‘multicultural Britain’ differ by class-cultural context and age?
3. How is receptivity to ‘multicultural Britain’ related to other attitudes towards ‘modernity?’
1. 200 interviews, 50 each with representatives of four social groups: socially deprived young men; small business entrepreneurs, young and older; liberal professions; upper middle class members of business and social elites.
2. Media monitoring.
A clearer understanding of support for and antagonism towards multicultural Britain as a cultural and political project. A better understanding of the term ‘ethnic minority’ and ‘ethnic majority’ in the public policy and politics of multiculturalism.
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