New Middle-Class Labor Migrants

  • Sam ScottEmail author
Reference work entry


Migration researchers have tended to focus on social extremes: either highly skilled elites, on the one hand, or low-wage workers on the other. Less attention has been directed toward “ordinary” middle-class professional movers, and there have been no reviews of this literature to date. The chapter addresses this gap and identifies five important themes to guide future class-orientated migration research. First, the complex relationship between migration, social mobility, place, and middle-class membership is examined. Second, age is shown to be an important consideration in middle-class migration decision-making. Third, the cultural versus economic basis of the mobile middle-class is explored, and the role of lifestyle factors in shaping migration is critically examined. Fourth, middle-class migration decisions are connected to gendered household strategies, with the preponderance of dual-career couples now taking migration decision-making well beyond the individual career path. Finally, the social and communal emplacement of middle-class migrants is considered as an important but neglected dimension of research. Overall, it is clear that the class-based analysis of migration is an important yet neglected field of study, and this is especially true for middle-class movers.


Labor Middle class Middling Migrant Mobility Transnational 


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© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GloucestershireCheltenhamUK

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  • Lyndon Fraser

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