Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Senior Sociology lecturer works with Vietnamese academics to investigate migration networks

Monday, 25 September 2017


Dr Tamsin Barber, a Senior Lecturer in Sociology, has been instrumental in developing research links with academics in Vietnam to understand what are the conditions, motivations and aspirations underpinning young Vietnamese migrants journeys to the UK and how do these change after migration.

Dr Barber and her colleagues were awarded the Newton Mobility Grant which allowed her to travel to Vietnam. There, they presented to and held talks with both Professors and PhD students in order to expand on the nature of the migrant networks from Vietnam to the UK.

The research takes into account relations between ‘settled’ Vietnamese communities and newly arriving communities. Dr Barber explains, “This relationship can be both an opportunity and an obstacle for both sets of communities, as they will need to negotiate with one another on a number of different levels.”

The research project is an example of dialectical cooperation across disciplines. It also spans different geographies, as the research will be combined from both native and host countries. The project is interdisciplinary and, whilst it is based on sociology, there has been input from other disciplines such as  economics and politics.

This Research partnership has not been limited to just academia. Dr Barber and her team also met with  the British Embassy in Hanoi and thus was conscious of the impact that policy itself has on the subjects of the research. Additionally, Dr Barber has met with several migrants whose accounts gave a valuable indication of the of pre- and post-migration experience.

Dr Barber has published on the subject of migration and her most recent paper  on ‘ethnic authenticity’ was published in  the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies this year. She is currently engaged in writing up the findings of her recent research in Vietnam, and hopes to publish the findings in the spring of 2018.

If you’d like to read more about Dr. Barber’s research, we invite you to look at her staff page where she lists her ongoing projects.