Mobile Professionals and Families

This research network focuses on the migration, mobilities and everyday lives of skilled migrants with a particular emphasis on families.

Migration is often seen as a phenomenon where people from less affluent countries move to more affluent countries to search for a better living. There are, however, increasing numbers of people who move to different countries because of their careers (from north to south, from south to north or from one affluent country to another). The members of this network share an interest in the contemporary transnational mobilities where highly educated and skilled people move abroad voluntarily for career or personal reasons.

Career expatriates, highly skilled migrants, mobile professionals, privileged migrants, transnational corporate elites or simply expatriates; these are terms that are used to describe such highly educated professionals. They are relatively well-paid and they do not necessarily stay in the destination permanently but move on after a few months or years.

Policies and employers tend to focus on the individual expert whose skills and expertise are needed but this network gathers together researchers who pay attention to the fact that those experts often have children and spouses who either move abroad with them or stay behind. Third Culture Kids or trailing spouses are sometimes used to describe those who travel along but the network researchers look at the phenomena from various perspectives, using various conceptualisations.

Literature on migration, transnational mobilities and multiculturalism is vast. The aim of this network is to generate a fruitful dialogue by bringing together researchers from various disciplines undertaking research in a range of sites and using diverse methods.

 The purpose of the network is that the members can get to know each other; share information and their work with others; post details of conferences or workshops; share working papers and links to publications etc. The network can also organise joint events or conference panels