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Title: Middling transnationalism and translocal lives : young Germans in the UK
Author: Mueller, Dorothea Sophia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 6324
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2013
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The thesis examines the migration decision-making and everyday experiences of young highly skilled professional migrants through the case study of German migration to the UK. It develops a framework combining the twin notions of transnational urbanism and translocal subjectivities, allowing a strong focus on migrants' subjective experiences, perceptions and emotionalities of mobility, while acknowledging the centrality of spaces and places for them. The geographical setting of the case study further serves to accentuate the relatively small-scale disruption occurring during the migration process, and the subjectivities connected to this. Data was collected in the UK (mainly London) during thirteen months of fieldwork, using participant observation, in-depth interviews and expert interviews. The research reveals a previously unacknowledged high ambivalence and diversity of this migrant group. Young German highly skilled migrants display various mobility and migration patterns with regard to the translocal connections they maintain, the emotional importance they attach to these connections, and their previous internal and international migration history. Three mobility types emerge from this: 'bi-local', 'multi-local' and 'settled' migrants. The close translocal connections practiced by migrants can lead to conflict, particularly for bi-local migrants, as judging of the migration project can occur by friends and families; meaning the spatial and emotional proximity between the migrants and their social network can be both positive and negative. The expectations towards the UK are also highly complex, and strongly influence micro-scale personal geographies. Lastly, the diversity of migration projects leads to widely varying attitudes towards fellow German migrants, as well as tensions and potentially conflicts within German social spaces. Overall, a strong and pervasive ambivalence about the migration experience emerges, which is experienced differently by the three migrant groups and the geographical proximity between Germany and the UK plays a large role in this. This thesis adds empirical and analytical insight to the academic debate regarding young professional migrants within the EU, and German contemporary migration in particular. Theoretically, it contributes to the discussion around lifestyle migration and middling transnationalism, and it enhances the practical use of the concept 'emotional geographies' for migration studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HB0848 Demography. Population. Vital events