Moving People and Knowledge

Moving People and Knowledge

Scientific Mobility in an Enlarging European Union

Louise Ackers and Bryony Gill

Moving People and Knowledge provides a fresh examination of the processes of highly skilled science migration. Focusing on intra-European mobility and, in particular, on the new dynamics of East–West migration, the authors investigate the movement of Polish and Bulgarian researchers to and from the UK and Germany. Key questions include: who is moving, how long for, and why? In addressing the motivations and experiences of mobile scientists and their families, insights into professional and personal motivations are provided, demonstrating how relationships, networks and infrastructures shape decision-making. This book provides a useful perspective on the implications of increasing researcher mobility – for both sending and receiving regions and the individuals concerned – which is necessary for the construction of future policies on sustainable scientific development.

Chapter 5: Multiple Life-courses? The Impact of Children on Migration Processes

Louise Ackers and Bryony Gill

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, knowledge management, development studies, family and gender policy, migration, innovation and technology, knowledge management, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, family and gender policy, migration, urban and regional studies, migration


1 INTRODUCTION Scott (2006: 113) emphasizes the relationship between mobility and family and/or life-course, suggesting that ‘there is then a work–life balance that matches the acquisition of mobility capital against familial priorities’. Although the role of partners has been recognized for some time in migration research, attention to the influence of children has emerged more slowly. Cooke (2001: 419) argues that research has generally ‘failed to consider carefully how reproductive, labour market and migration decisions are connected’. Whilst the attention to children in this work is welcome, its focus is primarily on the effect of child-bearing on mothers’ employment. Kofman (2004: 243) suggests that the neglect of family-related migration reflects the ‘emphasis in migration studies on the individual, a heavily economic focus and an association with female migration based on the dichotomy of male producer and female reproducer. Family-related migration is treated as a secondary form of migration subordinate to and divorced from labour markets’. To the extent that family migration has been recognized in migration research, it has tended to be treated as distinct from and less important than employment-related migration. Implicit within this analysis is the view that women – as wives and mothers – and children are largely moving as dependants and not as major economic players in their own right. Where the influence of older children is recognized in research, children tend to be viewed as the passive appendages of migrant couples who vicariously weigh up the impact of individual moves on the...

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