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Rhythmic island: Latvian migrants in Guernsey and their enfolded patterns of space-time mobility
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 19:37 authored by Russell King, Julie Vullnetari
Rather than a marginal activity, visiting friends and relatives (VFR) is a fundamental part of the migrant experience. We illustrate this assertion by an in-depth study of Latvian labour migration to Guernsey. Since the 1990s, low incomes and high unemployment in post-Soviet Latvia combine with niche-specific labour demands in Guernsey to create migratory flows of mainly female workers. The small-scale nature of this circular migration system allows a deeper theorisation of the many linkages between migration and VFR. In particular we deploy time-geography and rhythmanalysis to explore the various ways that migration and VFR are enfolded within each other, within the life-courses of the protagonists, and within the capitalist rhythms of temporary labour migration. Empirical evidence comes from interviews with 90 Latvian migrants in Guernsey and with 16 employers. VFR mobilities are space-time events of co-presence which can take place either in Latvia or in Guernsey. Both directions of visits can involve touristic functions, and VFR to Guernsey can also carry the potential to stimulate further migration. Further research could pay more attention to gender aspects and to prospects for permanent return migration to Latvia.
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
Department affiliated with
- Geography Publications
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