Migrants of the British diaspora since the 1960S

Stories from modern nomads

On the global stage the British diaspora, proportionate to its population, remains one of the largest. This book is the first social history to explore experiences of British emigrants from the peak years of the 1960s to the emigration resurgence of the turn of the twentieth century. It explores migrant experiences in Australia, Canada and New Zealand alongside other countries. The book charts the gradual reinvention of the 'British diaspora' from a postwar migration of austerity to a modern migration of prosperity. It is divided into two parts. First part presents a decade-by-decade chronology of changes in migration patterns and experience, progressing gradually from the postwar migration of austerity to a more discretionary mobility of affluence. It discusses 'pioneers of modern mobility'; the 1970s rise in non-white migration and the decline of British privilege in the old Commonwealth countries of white settlement; 'Thatcher's refugees' and cosmopolitanism and 'lifestyle' migration. Second part shifts from a chronological to a thematic focus, by drilling down into some of the more prominent themes encountered. It explores the interplay of patterns of change and continuity in the migrant careers of skilled workers, trade unionists, professionals and mobile academics. The push and pull of private life, migration to transform a way of life, and migrant and return experiences discussed highlight the underlying theme of continuity amidst change. The long process of change from the 1960s to patterns of discretionary, treechange and nomadic migration became more common practice from the end of the twentieth century.

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