INTERSECTIONS OF HOUSING AND NON-VOLUNTARY MOBILITIES IN THE
UK: DEFINING A RESEARCH AGENDA
Brady Arts and Community Centre, 192-196 Hanbury Street, London E1 5HU
Mon 9 – Tue 10 October 2023
This workshop aims to connect insights from research, professional practice or lived experience, to shed light on how systems and processes – some aiming to support, others to control – subject various groups of UK residents to forms of mobility over which they have limited or no choice. These mobilities are often intimately related to housing dynamics and fiscal austerity in the UK. This workshop seeks to understand the state of knowledge on such non-voluntary mobilities, and the future research needed to advance it. It takes inspiration from two emerging directions in scholarship.
First, there is an emerging scholarship examining how forms of urban displacement affect a range of subjects, moving our understanding of mobility beyond the statist dichotomy of “migrants” and “citizens”. The term “evictability”, for instance, captures a common vulnerability to being removed from a sheltering place (Van Baar 2017; De Genova et al., 2021). Both migrants and some formal citizens can be affected by “enforced” or “unfree” mobility within the UK, whether through involuntary asylum dispersal (Darling 2016; 2022), estate regeneration, evictions (Watt 2018; 2022; Nowicki 2023) or other mechanisms such as internal displacement of individuals and families into temporary accommodation as a result of domestic violence (Bowstead 2020; 2022).
Second, there is an emerging recognition within migration studies that common mechanisms of marginalisation exist between social groups that are conventionally studied in siloes. This recognition makes space for the emergence of new solidarities across such categories as citizen and non-citizen, migration and class (Anderson 2013; Vickers 2020). It offers potential to unite precarious citizens and immigrants in a common struggle for social justice, in the face of national governments that polarise these groups through scapegoating and discourses of deservingness.
By exploring commonalities in the experience of non-voluntary, and often structurally imposed, mobilities at the sub-national level, we hope to reveal fresh perspectives and directions for research, policy and practice in the UK, with potential to avert the marginalization of those who find themselves moved by systems and processes beyond their control. This is particularly important as policymakers and practitioners seek to respond more effectively to a range of vulnerable arrivals in local areas and to foster inclusion and equality among residents, in a context constrained by austerity, neoliberal logics and a changing array of policy and fiscal directives.
This workshop is organised by Prof Susanne Wessendorf and Dr Tamlyn Monson as part of the Horizon-funded ReROOT project. It is co-hosted by the Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University.
For more information, please contact:
Dr Tamlyn Monson
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ReROOT project Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University