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Title: The careers of skilled migrants in the North-East of England
Authors: Kozhevnikov, Andrey
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: In the UK, migration has been of significant interest to scholars and policy-makers, especially so after the EU enlargement in 2004. Yet, only recently attention has begun to shift from the impact of international mobility upon the host country to migrants’ individual experiences. Drawing explicitly upon critical realism philosophy and Margaret Archer’s realist social theory, this thesis explores careers of skilled migrants in the North-East of England. Within this framework the study undertakes an inquiry into factors that seek to explain why, in this setting, careers of some skilled migrants are relatively successful. The thesis relies upon realist evaluation to enhance understanding of contextual conditions, agential career projects and career outcomes. The analysis is based upon an extensive review of existing literature, statistical records and empirical data gathered via interviews with skilled migrants, together with a sub-sample of indigenes. When ‘mapping’ the context, the thesis considers (supra)-national, as well as region-specific factors. Regarding career projects, the focus is upon reflexivity, social capital and skilfulness. The thesis argues that different career projects can yield different outcomes, with particular modes of reflexivity (MoRs) associated with specific career orientations. Nonetheless, cultural and structural conditions affect the availability of career projects for certain individuals in certain environments and, therefore, relative career success. The study makes a contribution to career studies by elaborating the link between reflexivity and career projects and, ultimately, outcomes. The thesis also advances realist social theory by demonstrating how cultural and structural factors mediate reflexivity in career projects. It goes even further to investigate the idiosyncrasies of skilled migrants’ careers. Ultimately, the thesis offers a better and more balanced account of careers as a social phenomenon positioned at the intersection of agency, on the one hand, and culture and structure, on the other.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:Newcastle University Business School

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