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.