Moving Lives: Narratives of Nation and Migration among Europeans in Post-War Britain, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Moving Lives

Narratives of Nation and Migration among Europeans in Post-War Britain, 1st Edition

By Kathy Burrell


224 pages

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Hardback: 9780754645740
pub: 2006-03-28
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Immigrants in Britain are often viewed as just that - 'immigrants'. Their experiences as migrants are sidelined in favour of discussions about assimilation and integration - how 'they' adapt to 'us'. This book refocuses debates about migration by following the experiences, memories and perceptions of three migrant groups in Britain: the Polish, Italian and Greek-Cypriot populations. In tracing some of the key themes of migration narratives, Kathy Burrell illustrates that the act of migration creates enduring legacies which continue to influence the everyday lives of migrants long after they have moved. The book is structured around four key themes. The first is the migration process itself. Burrell highlights the important contrast between voluntary and involuntary migration, examining the different memories and legacies of migration. The second theme is the national, (as opposed to ethnic) identities of the groups studied. The author demonstrates how national consciousness survives the upheaval of migration and is perpetuated through the recognition of national histories, myths and traditional rituals. The third theme is a memory of the homeland. The author traces her respondents' memories and experiences of their national territory, focusing particularly on the transnational connections that are established with the homeland after migration. Finally Burrell considers community, analyzing her respondents' experiences of community life and the shared social and cultural norms and values that underpin it.


'This is an outstanding piece of work by a talented young scholar. It both demonstrates a command of the existing literature and also makes significant methodological advances. It deals especially well with the significance of transnationalism and its relevance for three European communities in post-War Britain, which have received relatively little attention.' Professor Panikos Panayi, De Montfort University, UK 'This book provides a subtle and sophisticated analysis of how three European migrant groups in Britain have shaped their identities. Moving Lives is particularly significant in outlining the everyday processes and practices of the Poles, Greek Cypriots and Italians studied and how their national place of origin impacts on their life in Britain. Its comparative approach is revealing and the use of life histories fascinating and sensitively handled. The recent increase of European migration to Britain makes this lively book all the more relevant.' Professor Tony Kushner, University of Southampton, UK

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Narrating migration; Remembering the Nation; The myth of no return; The binding ties of community; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Kathy Burrell is a Senior Lecturer in Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Liverpool, UK.

About the Series

Research in Migration and Ethnic Relations Series

Research in Migration and Ethnic Relations Series

The Research in Migration and Ethnic Relations series has been at the forefront of research in its field for over ten years. The series has built an international reputation for cutting edge theoretical work, for comparative research, particularly on Europe, and for nationally-based studies with broader relevance to international issues. Published in association with the European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER), Utrecht University, it draws contributions from the best international scholars in the field, offering an interdisciplinary perspective on some of the key issues facing the contemporary world.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General