dr. B. (Başak) Bilecen

Rosalind Franklin Assistant Professor of Sociology


Research interests

I have pursued research on migration and social inequalities. I employ qualitative interviewing and personal network analysis as my primary data collection methods. My principal scholarly objective has been to explore how transnationality of mobile and non-mobile populations shapes their life worlds, social protection, and thus experiences of inequalities in families and in different welfare states’ opportunity structures. My work has centered on investigating the personal connections of migrants, the content of their life worlds (i.e. differences in education, work and family life, healthcare in different countries), and the influences of migrants’ personal networks on the ways in which protective resources flow across different nation-state borders. My main argument is that being embedded within at least two different nation-state structures and having personal ties across borders not only reproduces ‘old’ inequalities but also generate ‘new’ ones. Furthermore, certain social mechanisms such as trust, reciprocity or brokerage underlie those inequality patterns. I analyze how those social mechanisms emerge in diverse contexts (i.e. health, care, higher education etc.) based on migrants’ social positionings in various hierarchies (i.e. gender, age, ethnicity, class, etc.) considering not only the welfare systems and regimes of countries of immigration but also the countries of emigration.

My approach is based on three major premises. First, inequality is a universal concern, meaning that it affects every individual across the globe, and there is a need to develop science-based policy on social inequalities. Second, there are critical interdependencies between migrants and non-migrants, so that a multi-sited and mixed methods logic of research are necessary in understanding the life worlds of individuals. Third, every individual is surrounded by others. Without understanding the embeddedness of persons and content of their personal relationships in-depth we cannot fully grasp social hierarchies, and thus positionings, and inequalities. 

  1. Gendered dynamics of transnational social protection

    Bilecen, B., Barglowski, K., Faist, T. & Kofman, E., 11-Dec-2019, In : Comparative Migration Studies . 7, 47.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  2. Theories of Social Stratification and Inequality

    Bilecen, B., 22-Apr-2020, Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Edition. Ritzer, G. (ed.). WILEY-BLACKWELL

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionaryAcademicpeer-review

  3. The missing link: Social network analysis in migration and transnationalism

    Bilecen, B., Gamper, M. & Lubbers, M. J., May-2018, In : Social Networks. 53, p. 1-3 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  4. Transnational Knowledge Networks

    Bilecen, B., 15-Nov-2018, The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies. Middell, M. (ed.). 1 ed. London/New York : Routledge, p. 599-605 7 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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Press / Media
  1. Why this family crowdsourced ideas for its first Christmas celebration in Timmins

    Basak Bilecen


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement ActivitiesPopular

  2. Mocked and excluded

    Basak Bilecen


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement ActivitiesPopular

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  1. Personal Network Effects on Study Abroad Decisions: A Comparative Research

    Basak Bilecen (Invited speaker)


    Activity: Talk or presentationAcademic

  2. Exclusion Processes 'Here' and 'There': The Case of Chinese International Students

    Basak Bilecen (Speaker)


    Activity: Talk or presentationAcademic

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  1. Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the University of Groningen

    Bilecen, Basak (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitivelyAcademic

  2. John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship at Harvard University

    Bilecen, Basak (Recipient), 2017

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitivelyAcademic

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