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Title: The Eastern European migrant occupational experiences in the UK : fall, recovery and success trajectories
Author: Stanculescu, Mara
ISNI:       0000 0004 9354 6562
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2019
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The primary aim is to explore the relation between international migration and career, and how these affect each other over time – the case of the Romanian migrants in the UK. The thesis presents two main research questions: Do the Romanian migrants in the UK achieve occupational success or are they more likely to remain stuck in the 3D (dirty, dangerous and demeaning) jobs? And, what are the plans of the Romanian migrants regarding the strategic use of their geographic mobility power for the future? The research assumes an interdisciplinary qualitative approach that allows the utilization of multiple theoretical paradigms and research methods with the purpose of understanding the migrant career dynamics. The research employs a life course methodological framework, in order to obtain rich data that permits the analysis of contextualism - linked lives, as all life spheres (e.g. education, family, and others) are interconnected. Methodologically, this thesis uses the grounded theory to answer the research questions in an exploratory manner. The research is a multi-sited investigation (London, Leicester and Cheltenham Spa), utilising multiple sampling methods – snowball, maximum variation and generic purposive techniques, and multiple analysis methods – thematic analysis and quasi-statistics. The data was collected via in-depth interviews alongside the life-grid instrument. When it comes to understanding and explaining the migrant career of Romanians in the UK, the discussion focuses on the trajectories during the lifetime of each participant in view of traditional versus new career types. Understanding the occupational trajectory as interlinked transitions of occupation, education, family and attachment to the UK, the migrant career has many advantages. In particular, it allows the integration of pre-migration occupational experiences, and concomitantly, the exploration of effects of the other life spheres including the international migration experiences in relation to career success (objective and subjective), as experienced and understood by the individuals themselves. In other words, this study exemplifies the Romanian during lifetime (overall) career patterns and conceptualises the migrant career occupational U-shape (mobility) in the UK as trajectories of fall, recovery and success. Hence, the main findings of the thesis are that (i) the Romanian migrants tend to resiliently pursue occupational success in the UK. Based on the retrospective longitudinal character of the data, the thesis demonstrates that the Romanian migrant occupational trajectories in the UK comply with the U-shaped pattern (fall and recovery), and that many succeed to achieve occupational success. Unlike previous studies, this thesis does not compare the Romanian migrants with the British natives, but measures recovery and success by taking, as benchmark, the best labour market position obtained as a native in Romania. Moreover, the thesis identifies the temporal character of the occupational U-shape trajectory of Romanian migrants in the UK. Following, (ii) most Romanian migrants willing to remain permanently in their ‘country of choice’ – the UK as occupational success and/or expansion in other life spheres are achieved. Expanding from occupation to the other life spheres, the thesis shows that aside from occupational success, many Romanian migrants in the UK are successful in other life spheres, especially by forming a family. Consequently, instead of intending to use their geographical 'migration power', they choose to remain permanently in the UK, particularly after/if they have a child.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available