On migrant men’s entry dynamics into the feminised social care work in the UK


The literature on workers in gender atypical occupations has been dominated by a focus on women doing men’s work. Much less attention has been paid to men in women’s work, and even less to the impact of migration. Based on 28 in-depth interviews with migrant men having experiences of working in hands-on social care in England, this article is a contribution to the understanding of migrant men’s entry dynamics into a female-dominated occupation. Focusing on migrant life experiences, it discusses how they actively engage in three entry dynamics: (1) facing barriers and negotiating them, (2) ‘stumbling upon’ women’s work, then developing compensating strategies and (3) migratory/temporary settling into the sector. The article suggests a theory about lifelong ‘travelling’ when entering women’s work: a continuing process of negotiating work options within a specific historical sector context, the intersection of gender and migration being part of this.

Hussein, S. and Christensen, K. (2017) Migration, gender and low-paid work: on migrant men’s entry dynamics into the feminised social care work in the UK.  Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 43(5): 749-765.

Image credit: Elien Dumon – 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.