Migration Gender and Social Inclusion

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In this book chapter, I consider the experience of migrants growing older in a ‘new’, host community focusing on the roles of migration trajectories, social networks and culture in shaping the experience of social inclusion among older migrants. I draw on data obtained from life history interviews with 66 older Turkish migrants, aged 65 years or more collected in 2012-2013 and 30 interviews with community workers and care workers supporting Turkish older people.

The analysis is based on Nancy Fraser’s trilogy of interrelated factors of social justice: resources, recognition and representation. Here, I will focus on social networks as a key resource in migrants’ life course. For recognition, I will discuss the cultural visibility and social status of this particular group of migrants and how these interact with wider recognition of ‘migrants’ and ‘older people’ as integrated groups within the wider society. In relation to representation, I will include participation within and outside the ‘community’ and draw attention to the vexed impact of ‘strong social networks’ and solidarity in creating support as well as the potential of social inclusion.

The findings show that for Turkish older migrants, the social network was a key resource that provided them with significant safety nets at crucial times in their lives. However, the same ‘resource’ created unintentional isolating bubbles from the wider society for prolonged periods of time, which had negative implications on the way they felt they are recognised and on how they actively sought representation. 

Ageing, Diversity and Equality aims to challenge and provoke the above described normativity and offer an alternative approach which highlights the heterogeneity and diversity of ageing, associated inequalities and their intersections.

Hussein, S. (2018) Migration Gender and Social Inclusion. In S. Westwood (edt) Ageing, Diversity and Inequality: Social justice perspectives. Routledge: London.

Image credit: Markus Spiske – unsplash.com

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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Professor Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.