Migration and inequalities in the Global South: Neglected intersections of oppression and privilege

Covid-19 has brought into stark relief the deep inequalities that shape the experiences of migrants and their families, particularly those moving from or within the Global South.

However, migrants themselves are not a homogenous group and too often the diversity of migrant experiences goes unrecognised. The concept of intersectionality provides a framework for exploring how the intersections of migrant status, gender, race and other dimensions of oppression – or, in some cases, privilege – shape the experiences of particular migrant groups and of individual migrants themselves. Existing migration scholarship concentrates more heavily on certain dimensions – such as ethnicity and class – to the exclusion of other important concerns. This project will take stock of existing efforts and provide the building blocks to expand our current work in this field, through research on three important and under-explored intersectional concerns: disability, sexuality and the gendered experiences of skilled and highly educated migrants in the Global South. For most migrants, destinations will be cities or towns, so as a cross-cutting theme, particular attention will be paid to how living and working practices in urban settings shape the challenges and opportunities that these migrants face.

A one-day ‘mini-conference’ in June 2022 will bring together participants from within the University and externally around these three core issues. We will build on work undertaken under the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Migration for development and equality (MIDEQ) project on inequalities and South-South migration and will consolidate our collaboration with the UKRI GCRF Gender, Justice and Security Hub, which has already carried out some research into skilled and highly educated migration in the Global South. More locally, we will work with the Global Development Institute’s Global Urban Futures Research Group and Manchester Urban Institue’s Urban Justice, Gender, and Social Difference Research Group – with an explicit focus on identifying key issues for future research.

This research is being carried out by Tanja Bastia and Matthew Walsham. It is funded by the Faculty of Humanities Research Recovery Fund 2021-22.