The hidden migrant voice
The UK has seen new flows of migration coming from Central Eastern Europe and other parts of the former 'Soviet bloc', particularly since EU accession processes in 2004 and 2007. Scotland, the focus for this research, presents a particularly interesting and distinctive case due to the specifics of its economic and demographic situation, the political discussion taking place of the need for migration, and the division of responsibilities between UK and Scottish parliaments and local authorities for migration. Whilst both the Scottish Executive and many local authorities have expressed a wish to attract and retain migrant workers, challenges have also been highlighted in academic and policy oriented research relating to a demand for and adequacy of service provision. Meanwhile the experiences and perspectives of migrants themselves remain little understood.
The project prioritises this often hidden migrant voice in both its theoretical and empirical approach. It aims to study perspectives and experiences of 'social security' amongst migrants from Central Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union in Scotland. We use 'social security' in a holistic sense to mean the ways in which migrants are able to make themselves socially, economically, personally and culturally secure in a new environment and their strategies for dealing with every day risks.