Eurocity London: a qualitative comparison of graduate migration from Germany, Italy and Latvia
2019-06-21T12:45:31Z (GMT) by
This paper compares the motivations and characteristics of the recent migration to London of young-adult graduates from Germany, Italy and Latvia. Conceptually the paper links three domains: the theory of core–periphery structures within Europe; the notion of London as both a global city and a ‘Eurocity’; and the trope of ‘crisis’. The dataset analysed consists of 95 in-depth biographical interviews and the paper’s main objective is to tease out the narrative similarities and differences between the three groups interviewed. Each of the three nationalities represents a different geo-economic positioning within Europe. German graduates move from one economically prosperous country to another; they traverse shallow economic and cultural boundaries. Italian graduates migrate from a relatively peripheral Southern European country where, especially in Southern Italy, employment and career prospects have long been difficult, and have become more so in the wake of the financial crisis. They find employment opportunities in London which are unavailable to them in Italy. Latvian graduates are from a different European periphery, the Eastern one, post-socialist and post-Soviet. Like the Italians, their moves are economically driven whereas, for the Germans, migration is more related to lifestyle and life-stage. For all three groups, the chance to live in a large, multicultural, cosmopolitan city is a great attraction. And for all groups, thoughts about the future are marked by uncertainty and ambiguity.