Chapter 1 includes a critical review of the theoretical field and the established concepts in migration studies such as integration, identity and settlement, arguing that they are insufficient to conceptualise the adaptation and settling processes among contemporary migrants. This chapter crosses disciplines in order to better understand the studied processes, particularly highlighting previously underestimated psychological contributions that strongly informed the approach presented in the monograph. These contributions include the selected theories of acculturation and adaptation, Maslow’s theory of needs, Ager and Strang’s (2008) framework for integration and the conservation of resources theory by Hobfoll (2001). Chapter 1 develops the argument referring, on the one hand, to such notions as individualisation, social cohesion, transnationalism, superdiversity, and on the other hand to more specific concepts trying to conceptualise the process of migrants’ adaptation and settling such as belonging, emplacement, embedding.
This monograph argues that well-established concepts in migration studies such as ‘settlement’ and ‘integration’ do not sufficiently capture the features of adaptation and settling of contemporary migrants. Instead, it proposes the integrative and transdisciplinary concept of anchoring, linking the notions of identity, adaptation and settling while overcoming the limitations of the established concepts and underlining migrants’ efforts at recovering their feelings of security and stability. Drawing on 80 in-depth interviews with Polish migrants in the UK and Ukrainian migrants in Poland, ethnographic and autobiographical research together with an analysis of Internet blogs and forums, the book presents the author’s original concept of anchoring, underpinned by a combination of sociological and psychological perspectives, as well as demonstrating its applications. The book aims not only to provide a theoretical and methodological contribution to better understanding and examining the processes of adaptation and settling among today’s migrants, but also to highlight practical implications useful for the better support of individuals facing changes and challenges in new, complex and fluid societies.
This final empirical chapter addresses a longstanding and controversial debate around Research Ethics Committee (REC) practice; whether they should take the scientific quality of proposed research into account when assessing an application. By coming at this topic from the perspective of trust decisions, highlighting the role of scientific quality as a trust warrant, this chapter sheds light on why this issue is such an intransigent point of dispute between RECs, researchers, and the Department of Health. Historically, this chapter traces the tensions over RECs’ desire to take research quality into account from the late 1960s to the present day, highlighting the recurrent themes in the debate – around expertise, prior scientific review by funding bodies, and separation (or integration) of scientific and ethical issues. In terms of ethnographic work, this chapter explores how these tensions are present in REC meetings as committee members – aware of concerns about overstepping the mark with scientific review – ‘police’ their own and colleagues’ discussion of scientific quality, while at the same time drawing on this information to help make their decisions. Finally, this chapter explores the limits of RECs’ trust in the context of external scientific review of applications and how these fit into REC decisions.
Chapter 6 aims to synthesise crucial points about anchoring which emerge from the SAST research with Ukrainian migrants in Poland and Polish migrants in the UK, to develop a framework allowing a better understanding of the processes of adaptation and settling. In order to outline key elements useful for building a general model of migrants’ anchoring, it concentrates on commonalities observed across both groups, in contrast to the previous chapters focusing on Polish migrants in the UK and Ukrainian migrants in Poland as separate case studies to highlight their specifics and contextual insights. This chapter showed the centrality of the need for security and stability. The proposed model of anchoring outlines layers of anchoring, from external footholds related to the legal and institutional frameworks and work opportunities, through more complex anchors embedded in social relations, to deeper internal anchors, such as constructed familiarity and closeness. Chapter 6 highlights the significance of practices and spaces for anchoring as well as the importance of cognitive, emotional and spiritual anchoring. This part of the monograph shows the dynamics of anchoring and the uneven and relational character of settling. It sheds light on the flexibility and reversibility of anchoring, including the processes of re-anchoring or un-anchoring (e.g. through selling houses in the country of origin, relocating loved ones, changing names). It argues that although the migrants were active agents endeavouring to establish themselves and reach a relative state of safety and stability, they were also constrained by their existing anchors, their limited resources and societal structures.q
This book explores the nature of decision making in one of the most crucial – yet also the most understudied – aspects of the regulatory system around biomedical research: research ethics committees. Every month, all over the UK, groups of people sit down and decide what kind of research should be carried out on patients within the National Health Service (NHS). These groups – Research Ethics Committees (RECs) – made up of doctors, nurses, researchers, and members of the general public, help shape the future of medicine, and play a crucial role in the regulation of a wide range of research from social science to epidemiology, vaccine and drugs trials, and surgery. Despite coming into existence in the late 1960s, and the considerable literature bemoaning the chilling effect such review has on biomedical research, we don’t know very much about how these bodies make decisions. This book provides one of the first empirical examinations of this kind of regulation, drawing on observational, interview, and archival data to give in-depth ethnographic insight into RECs, as they operate in the UK NHS. A key insight of this work is that, despite the trappings of a modern regulatory system – the operating procedures, guidance documents, and websites – NHS REC decision making revolves around very old-fashioned aspects of social life such as interpersonal trust, reputation, and the performance of character, and that an accurate understanding of this kind of regulation requires an acceptance of the inherently social nature of the processes involved.
This chapter focuses on the institutional connections between Research Ethics Committees (RECs) and hospitals, exploring the way in which such links provide ‘local knowledge’ of applicants’ trustworthiness, helping committees decide whether to approve specific applications or not. Historically this chapter explores the longstanding tension in policy debates between the need for RECs to remain autonomous local forms of professional self-regulation and the desire on the part of government for centralisation of decisions to reduce the regulatory burden on specific applicants (e.g. pharmaceutical companies). Focus will be paid to two specific cases: the attempt by the British Medical Association in the 1980s to mandate a central REC and the development of Multi-centre RECs (MRECs) in the mid-1990s. The ethnographic aspects of this chapter will set how, in the current context of what I label ‘distributed centralisation’, RECs not only draw on existing ‘local knowledge’ but also set out to impose restrictions that actively generate additional local knowledge about applicants, helping make decisions about their trustworthiness.
Creative resistance to racial capitalism within and beyond the
Agnieszka Coutinho, Jay Gearing, and Ben Rogaly
This chapter reflects on the making of the film Workers. The context of the
film is employment in food factories and warehouses in eastern England in
the 2010s. Certain kinds of role – particularly those involving zero-hours
and/or limited-duration contracts and low-status, low-paid, fast-paced work
– became associated with international migrant workers rather than British
workers, having the effect of racialising the people employed in them as
migrants. The film draws attention both to the harsh employment conditions
faced by workers and to people’s creativity and conviviality and their
resistance to intensified workplace regimes. The chapter comprises of three
sections, written in turn by a research participant, who is a former
warehouse and food factory worker and one of the film’s narrators, and by
the film’s two co-producers: the director and the academic researcher. The
chapter ends with a broader critique of racial capitalism in contemporary
Chapter 2 positions the current study of China’s evolving capitalism in the broader context of China’s historical politico-economic evolution, and the significance of a distinction between a ‘market economy’ and a ‘capitalist economy’ for the study of contemporary political economy. It argues that the Eurocentrism that dominated debates as to why China ‘failed’ to develop capitalism (the great divergence) is the same Eurocentrism that has reified the conceptual state and market as the definitive analytic categories of Western political economy. Thus, it is only by way of understanding contemporary capitalism as more than the various configurations of state and market institutions—as the broad literature surrounding varieties of capitalism would reduce it to—that China’s otherwise highly paradoxical path of development can begin to be made sense of. More specifically, it opens up the theoretical space for conceptualizing the role of the CCP as an integral element of this evolving capitalist enterprise.
Chapter 3 develops an analytic framework for understanding how the financial system underpins a particular path of politico-economic development. It first examines how the concept of uncertainty and its relationship to financial risk is fundamental to making socio-economic action possible, a process with both economic and political implications. The management of uncertainty not only generates the potential for economic growth, but also contains the mechanisms for structuring that growth in particular ways. The chapter thus embeds the role of the CCP in socio-cultural and historical context, reconceptualizing it as the key locus of authority around which this management and exploitation of uncertainty takes place in Chinese capitalism.
The concluding chapter considers why, in the study of the intertwined processes of evolution in the global order and China’s ongoing socio-economic transformation, it is both useful and necessary to study the role of the financial system in China’s economic development, and in turn to study the role of the CCP in China’s financial system. It points to some of the ways in which the arguments developed in the book are important to future research into the reshaping of China’s political economy and the global political economy in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Finally, it draws out some of the book’s implications for the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological ways in which we approach the ‘China question’ and the future of authoritarian capitalism in an era of flux and change in the global capitalist order.