Migration, identities, and inequalities


Research in this theme examines dynamics of ethnic, national and religious identities and inequalities, including the intersection of these issues with practices and processes of human mobility.

Projects (A-Z)

Cultural Heritage and Identities of Europe’s Future (CHIEF)

 CHIEF (2018-2021) is a €4.8 million project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. Through an interdisciplinary and multi-methods approach across six empirical work packages, CHIEF explores diverse youth participation in the creation and reproduction of cultural knowledge in formal and informal forums, and aims to build an effective dialogue between policy, civil society, and education and heritage sector stakeholders to facilitate inclusive notions of heritage and identity. The project involves academic, heritage sector and civil society partners in nine countries within and outside the EU (Croatia, Georgia, Germany, India, Latvia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, UK). The International Project Coordinator and Principle Investigator for the UK team is Dr Anton Popov (Aston University). Dr Demelza Jones (University of Gloucestershire) is a Co-Investigator with responsibility for leading the UK component of Work Package 4 (qualitative research in non-formal educational settings), as well as contributing to Work Package 1 (policy review), Work Package 6 (qualitative research in heritage sites) and Work Package 7 (engagement with young people’s cultural practices).


  • CHIEF will result in a range of outputs aimed at academic and stakeholder audiences; including national and cross-national analysis reports and policy recommendations, policy workshops, international conference papers, peer-reviewed journal articles, a monograph and documentary films.
  • Social media: @ChiefH2020

 Deport, Deprive, Extradite

Deport, Deprive, Extradite (2015-2018) was an ESRC-funded research project based at the University of York that investigated the shifting dynamics of racism and the security state, exploring the interconnections between counterterrorism policing and border control as they play out in the context of the War on Terror. The project’s Principle Investigator was Dr Nisha Kapoor (University of Warwick) and Dr Kasia Narkowicz (University of Gloucestershire) was Research Associate. Specifically, the project charted different dynamics of expulsion – extradition to solitary confinement, citizenship deprivation, passport removals and deportation. In doing so, the work asked what the tools and technologies being used and developed to manage, exclude and expel racially marginalized populations tell us about the nature of contemporary British state governing practices and arrangements.


Feeling at home? Perceptions of hate crime, safety and belonging among Polish communities in Gloucestershire in the context of Brexit

This project (2019 – 2020) investigates hate crime and perceptions of safety and belonging among the Polish community in Cheltenham and Gloucester in the context of Brexit. Poles are the largest minority population in Gloucestershire (Gloucestershire County Council 2018). Along with other minorities, the Polish community have been targeted by hate crime and hate incidents, with a ‘spike’ in reporting in the aftermath of the EU membership referendum in June 2016. The project explores whether being in a ‘leave’ (Gloucester) or ‘remain’ (Cheltenham) voting area has any bearing on Poles’ perceptions of safety and belonging in their local context in the rapidly shifting and uncertain post-referendum period. The project is funded by the EDG Small Grants Programme at the University of Gloucestershire. The project’s Investigators are Dr Kasia Narkowicz, Dr Demelza Jones and Dr Louise Livesey (all University of Gloucestershire).

External engagement


  • The outputs from the project will be two peer-reviewed journal articles, and stakeholder and community reports that will be presented at a dissemination event in summer 2019.

Global Labour in Rural Societies (GLARUS)

GLAURUS (2017 – 2021) is a 15 million NOK (£1.37m) project, funded by the Norwegian Research Council. It addresses the important but poorly explored question of how contemporary global flows of low-skilled and manual labour transform the social fabric of non-urban regions in Western society. It adopts a comparative perspective: drawing on primary evidence from rural areas shaped by international migration in Norway, the UK and the US. The Principle Investigator is Professor Johan Fredrick Rye (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), and Dr Sam Scott (University of Gloucestershire) is Co-Investigator; leading research in the project’s UK case study region of Herefordshire.


Trans-national and Trans-local Migrant Families

Migrants often lack the financial, practical and/or legal resources to take their families with them and especially in the context of temporary and/or irregular migration, it is often a preferred option not to uproot the whole family. This work, conducted by Dr Rachel Bennett (University of Gloucestershire) with UK and international collaborators, explores the living arrangements, health and wellbeing of families dispersed through migration.  The work includes both origin and destination community perspectives and often takes a dynamic, longitudinal approach.

External Engagement

This work has been presented at a number of national and international conferences, including:

  • Eremenko, Tatiana and Bennett, Rachel (2017) Linking the family context of migration during childhood to the wellbeing of young adults: Evidence from the UK and France. Presented at the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, 27 October-3 November 2017
  • Bennett Rachel, Falkingham, Jane and Hosegood, Victoria (2014) Understanding children’s involvement in migration and implications for accessing child-related services in rural South Africa. [Invited presentation] Transnational Child-Raising Arrangements Conference, Maastricht University, the Netherlands, 26-28 June 2014


Other work

As well as the projects detailed above, academics within the School of Natural and Social Sciences are engaged in a range of other research, publication and external engagement activity around the issues of migration, identities and inequalities. This includes

  • Work on Tamil diasporas and Hindu communities in the UK (Dr Demelza Jones)
  • Collaborative work with the Church of England in Birmingham on ‘minority’ congregations’ engagement with ‘mainstream’ Anglican clergy and congregations (Dr Demelza Jones)
  • Research into group conflicts around religious and sexual politics in the Polish public sphere (Dr Kasia Narkowicz)
  • Examination of issues of migration and identity in the remote South Atlantic island community of St Helena (Dr Charlie Parker)
  • Work on low-paid migrant labour in the UK, with particular reference to the agricultural sector, policy responses in the context of ‘Brexit’, and inequality, exploitation and harm (Dr Sam Scott)