Polish mobilities and the re-making of self, family and community

Economic and Social Research Council (PhD studentship)

PI: Kate Botterill


This PhD project explored the social and spatial mobilities of young Polish people migrating between Poland and the UK, and the ways in which these mobilities relate to and affect the self, the family and the community. The project combined meta-theories of transformation and ‘new mobilities’ with scholarship on transnational migration. The project produced a detailed, empirical analysis of the personal histories, practices and relations of mobility for post-accession Polish nationals, and their journeys between Poland and the UK. A key finding of the research was that spatial and social mobility are differentially and relationally experienced by young Polish people and that social forms, such as the family and the community, are being revived and re-configured in the context of post-accession and post-socialist mobility.

Lifestyle Migration in East Asia

Economic and Social Research Council

PI: Prof. Karen O’Reilly (Loughborough Univeristy; Co-Is: Prof. Rob Stones (University of Western Sydney); Dr Maggy Lee (University of Hong Kong) PDRA: Kate Botterill

This project examined the motivations, experiences and outcomes of Lifestyle Migration, as a contemporary form of social mobility, in South-East Asian contexts. The main research questions were: How are mobility and quality of life understood within eastern and western migrants’ everyday lives and with what consequences for the ways in which they make sense of themselves and their relationships with others? How, in the light of the above, can a more integrated and informed understanding of lifestyle migration and flexible citizenship be developed and how might this set an agenda for further research? These were addressed through an empirical study of British migrants to Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong, and Hong Kong migrants to mainland China. The project was informed by strong structuration theory and employed virtual and visual ethnographic methods and life history interviews with migrant men and women. The research aimed to: increase the effectiveness of services and public policy (in UK, China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia); enhance UK economic competitiveness by encouraging effective help for, and mobilising resources of, British abroad; enhance quality of life through improved health and social welfare; to enhance mutual understanding in lifestyle destinations.


Website: https://gtr.ukri.org/project/B3606B18-ACF6-4150-875A-0AC6F7267689

Young people’s everyday geopolitics in Scotland: Race, place and identity

Arts and Humanities Research Council

PI: Prof. Peter Hopkins (Newcastle University); Co-I’s: Dr Gurchathen Sanghera (University of St Andrews), Prof. Rowena Arshad (Edinburgh University); PDRA: Kate Botterill


This research explored the ‘everyday geopolitics’ of ethnic and religious minority young people growing up in Scotland. The project aimed to investigate a number of issues relating to young people’s experiences of discrimination, the ways in which they are, or are not, mistaken for being Muslim (and so experience Islamophobia as a result), and their perceptions about everyday geopolitics (referring to the ways in which international, national, state and local political issues shape, and are shaped by, people’s everyday lives in different contexts). Using a qualitative research approach, we conducted 45 focus groups and 224 interviews. In total, 382 young people participated in the research across urban and rural Scotland. 


Website: https://research.ncl.ac.uk/youngpeople/


© 2020 by Migration and Mobilities Research Network

 Edinburgh Napier University, Sighthill Court, Edinburgh, Scotland   k.sharapov@napier.ac.uk