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Migration, settlement, community and identity : the case of the British in Paris.

Scott, Sam (2004) Migration, settlement, community and identity : the case of the British in Paris. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the British expatriate population in Paris and the surrounding region of Ile-de-France. It looks at the four inter-related issues of skilled migration, high-status residential settlement, community interaction and migrant identity. The approach is a holistic one. Mixed methods are used within a realist framework to first examine the overall British presence in the region, and having provided a statistical overview, ethnographic and interview material is used to explore a number of areas in greater depth. This second more intensive research phase accounts for the majority of the thesis, and five constituent arguments guide analysis: 1) Skilled world city migration is complex and can only be explained through reference to various levels of decision-making, involving the firm, household and individual. 2) Different types of expatriates move overseas as a result of this decision-making dynamic, and it ensures that the British community in Ile-de-France is a heterogeneous one. Six broad categories of expatriate are, however, identifiable, reflecting systematic differences in motive for migration, commitment to France, family status and gender roles/norms. 3) There is a distinct geography of settlement, with many of the elite professional and managerial migrants opting to rent or buy in the prestigious suburban districts to the west of the city. This socio-geographic skew is largely a function of class position and immigrant status. 4) Expatriate civil society is diverse and multi-faceted, reflecting the different British ‘tribes’ living and working in Ile-de-France. Furthermore, alongside involvement in community organisations and informal social networks, expatriates maintain a continual dialogue with the UK via an array of transnational socio-cultural links. Together, this communal interaction and individual transnational behaviour are what make the British distinct. In other words, they are more visible in terms of what they do than where they live. 5) Finally, mobility is shown to confuse and unsettle in an abstract and psychological sense. Ambiguity develops with respect to place-based allegiance, and expatriate identities evolve and coalesce to reflect the interplay of home and host country.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Geography (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.398616
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2019 09:43
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2019 09:43
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24968

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