School of Geography

Socio-economic exclusion and livelihoods

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 Global cities at work: migrant workers in low paid employment in London
This ESRC-funded project advanced academic understandings of the importance of migrant labour in global cities; produced the first comprehensive empirical evidence about the role and experiences of migrant workers in low-paid employment in London; and highlighted the implications for public policy. For more information, visit the Global Cities at Work website and see the book by Jane Wills, Kavita Datta, Yara Evans, Joanna Herbert, Jon May and Cathy McIlwaine, Global Cities at Work: New Migrant Divisions of Labour (Pluto, 2009).

 Latin American transnational migration to Europe
Livelihood security among Colombian migrants in London
This British Academy-funded project explores how Colombian migrants generate livelihoods in London. It examines a range of different coping strategies both within and beyond the labour market as well as the nature of their exclusion from British society. For more information, see Professor Cathy McIlwaine’s webpage.

 The homeless places project
This project is a collaboration with Paul Cloke, Univerity of Exeter, exploring the changing face of service provision for homeless people in an era of neo-liberal welfare ‘reform’. Research has focused on three key areas: government policies on street homelessness and the geographies of emergency service provision; the geographies of voluntarism; and homeless people's own understandings and experiences of voluntary service spaces and of the streets. For more details about the project, including free to download papers and reports, see the Homeless Places Project and Professor Jon May’s webpage. See also the book by Paul Cloke, Jon May and Sarah Johnsen, Swept Up Lives? Re-envisioning the Homeless City (Blackwell-Wiley, 2010). 

 Social exclusion, spaces of household economic practice and post-socialism
This ESRC-funded research project examines the ways in which households and individuals negotiate and cope with forms of social exclusion emerging in central European cities. The research examines the strategies adopted by households and individuals, how they link informal and formal economic activities, and how they are constituted differently in contrasting geographical contexts. For more information, see: /geography/socialexclusion/. See also Professor Adrian Smith’s webpage.

 Migrants and their money: addressing financial exclusion among low paid workers in London
This project examined the financial practices of migrant communities in London within the context of exclusion from formal financial institutions (Friends Provident Foundation, London Citizens, QMUL, 2007-2009). It investigated the extent and levels of financial exclusion among migrant communities from core financial services including banking, savings, credit and remittances; the legal and illegal strategies which migrants devised to access financial resources and services as well as the informal and alternative financial practices that they engaged in, particularly in relation to accessing credit. The research identified the key barriers that new migrant communities face in integrating into the financial fabric of the city which inter-relate with immigration status, labour market position and transnational financial practices; and the mechanisms by which financial exclusion among migrant men and women can be addressed. For more information see Dr Kavita Datta’s webpage, and also her book Migrants and their Money: Surviving Financial Exclusion in London (Policy Press and University of Chicago Press, 2012).