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Accessing information and resources via arrival infrastructures: migrant newcomers in London

Wessendorf, Susanne ORCID: 0000-0002-0932-6635 (2021) Accessing information and resources via arrival infrastructures: migrant newcomers in London. International Inequalities Institute Working Papers (57). London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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In much public discourse, it is assumed that migrants in Europe settle into contexts populated by national majorities or co-ethnics. However, today, new migrants often move into areas which have already been settled by earlier migrants of various backgrounds. Such areas have also been described as ‘arrival areas’, often situated within ‘arrival cities’ which have seen immigration (and emigration) over many decades. They are characterized by a wealth of ‘arrival infrastructures’, consisting of concentrations of institutions, organisations, social spaces and actors which specifically facilitate arrival. Arrival infrastructures comprise, for example, shops as information hubs, religious sites, language classes, hairdressers etc., often set up by people who themselves have a migration background. This article looks at the interactions and transfer of knowledge and resources between long-established migrants and more recent newcomers through arrival infrastructures. By drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in East London, and using the example of two recently arrived female migrants, it investigates how newcomers access settlement information and the role played by arrival infrastructures in this process. It specifically focuses on newcomers who arrive with few social contacts and for whom physically visible arrival infrastructures like libraries and shops are particularly relevant. The article aims to open up debate about arrival infrastructures, their manifestation in different urban contexts, and their relation to both new forms of solidarity as well as new and ongoing forms of exploitation between long-established residents and newcomers.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2021 00:49
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:21

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