Challenges and Opportunities in Researching Recent Migrants

A paper recently published in Demographic Research, ‘Adapting chain referral methods to sample new migrants: possibilities and limitations’ reviewed the experience of attempting to sample two representative populations of new migrants in London. Here the authors discuss what they consider to be the lessons from that experience.

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AIDS and Religious Life in Malawi: Rethinking How Population Dynamics Shape Culture

UNAIDS’ latest report on the global HIV pandemic features a bold title: “How AIDS Changed Everything.” The 500-page report almost lives up to its promise; it covers almost everything from patent law, to gender dynamics, to orphan care. In a new paper published in Population, I add to this list of everythings. I demonstrate how, in the context of Malawi’s generalized epidemic, AIDS has altered religious messages about family life — divorce in particular — not within one particular religious group but across all five of the country’s major religious traditions.

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Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (Selection)

Population recently embarked on a new annual series of articles providing an overview of emerging demographic issues spanning the latest research on data, theories, and policy implications. Prenatal sex selection — now spreading from Asia to Eastern Europe — has been selected as the topic for the first installment.

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Are Expatriates Really That Different From Immigrants?

Expatriates – highly-skilled workers who temporarily live abroad because of their jobs – are often seen as extraordinary people, not only very different from those who have always lived in their country of birth, but also much unlike immigrants, who moved to another country to stay there more or less permanently. In contrast to ‘ordinary’ migrants, expatriates are usually depicted as cosmopolitans, who feel at home anywhere, but are rooted nowhere. Some scholars argue that expatriates present themselves as world citizens, but that in reality, they only feel comfortable with transnational business men and women like themselves.

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The Advent of Tribal Population Studies

The “tribe”, as a special form of human association, has been traditionally approached either as a type of human society or as a stage in its evolution. However, it is only recently that applied research was conducted with respect to the quantification and pattern recognition processes related to the tribe and tribalism. This I shall term the advent of tribal population studies.

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The Inequality of Incapacity

While many inequalities are extensively researched, particularly around income and health, it is perhaps surprising to still find other inequalities that are barely mentioned in the literature. Yet this is true for one inequality around disability and work: almost no research focuses on why some people with disabilities are working and others are not, even when they have the same disabilities. What are the advantages that enable some – but only some, usually better-educated – sick and disabled people to stay attached to the labour market?

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Addressing Social Inequality in Migration, Urbanisation and Adaptation to Climate Impact in China

Understanding the role of social inequality is crucial if we are to unravel the climate impact, human adaption and migration nexus, but there is limited empirical evidence addressing it, especially in urban settings. In our study recently published in Population and Environment (Tan et al. 2015) as part of the Climate Change and Migration in China project funded by the Australian Research Council, we consider social inequality from three major dimensions: material inequality (the economic), social status inequality (the social) and power inequality (the political). Our consideration was based on the theories of socio-spatial inequality (Sheppard 2002) and social inequality (Goldthorpe 2010). Continue reading


Re-thinking Residential Mobility

In his 1955 classic, Why Families Move, Peter Rossi showed that changes in household structure- such as the birth of a child- often alter people’s housing and neighbourhood preferences and motivate moving to a more suitable dwelling. Much of this residential mobility takes place over surprisingly short distances, with less than one third of British movers relocating more than 10km (Bailey and Livingston 2007).

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