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2018 | 7 | 1 | 17-33

Article title

(In)Security, Family and Settlement: Migration Decisions Amongst Central and East European Families in Scotland


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Drawing on extensive qualitative research into experiences of migration and settlement among Central and East European (CEE) migrants living in Scotland, this article examines the role of intersecting emotional and material (in)securities in migrant families’ decision-making regarding and experiences of longer-term settlement. The article queries fixed or given understandings of either ‘family’ or ‘security’ and explores the complex and sometimes contradictory relationship between them. In so doing, it makes a number of significant and interconnected theoretical and empirical contributions to existing research in the field of family migration. Through a critical analysis of the relationship between family and (in)security the article offers nuanced insight into the ways in which family processes of reunion, separation and (re)formation link to decisions regarding migration and settlement. The intersecting and sometimes contradictory forms of emotional and material support, obligation and vulnerability which both family relations and processes of migration and settlement entail are critically analysed by bringing together theoretical frameworks of social (in)security and understandings of family as ‘made’ rather than ‘given’. Finally, attention given to the temporal aspects of (in)security, as well as the transnational aspects of migrants’ lives, provides new ways of understanding the open-endedness of decision-making processes relating to migration and settlement, especially where these involve multiple decision-makers.



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