Future Events

Challenging ‘integration': building new sociological theories to understand migrants’ mobilities and settling strategies in the context of Brexit

Thursday 30 November 2017

Leopold Hotel, 2 Leopold Street, Sheffield, S1 2GZ

This symposium, co-sponsored by the Migration Research Group and the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield, aims to re-evaluate the concept of migrant ‘integration’ in the context of intra-EU mobility post-Brexit. On the one hand, migrant ‘integration’ is at the centre of the EU’s ‘social cohesion’ policy, but with very different associated meanings and expectations for non-EU (CoE 2008) and EU migrants (Directive 2004/38/EC). On the other hand, ‘scientifically speaking, there are no satisfactory core definitions, despite the growing number of national and crossnational projects’ (Favell 2014).

The symposium brings together migration scholars whose recent work on European migration has either explicitly challenged the notion of ‘integration’ based on empirical sociological observations (Ryan 2015; 2017; Grzymala-Kazlowska 2016; 2017), or sought to adapt it to the circumstances of intra-EU mobility and Brexit by bridging sociological and legal approaches (McGhee and Moreh 2017; Phillimore, 2017; Strang, 2017).

You can register for the event here:



10:30 – 11:00

Coffee and Welcome

11:00 – 12:30

Prof Jenny Phillimore, University of Birmingham: ‘More than a two-way process? Multi-directional influences on migrant integration’

Prof Adrian Favell, University of Leeds: National integration in theory, measurement and practice (or, What difference do 900,000 non-white children in state funded primary schools, 8 million non-nationals, 3 million EU residents, 1 million Commonwealth voters, or 36 million tourists make…?)

Dr Roxana Barbulescu, University of Leeds: ‘”The freedom to not integrate. Integration ‘models’ and the exempted migrants in European societies”

12:30 – 1:15


1:15 – 2:45

Dr Aleksandra Grzymala-Kazlowska, University of Birmingham: “Dynamics of social anchoring: capturing the complexity of migrants’ settlement”

Prof Louise Ryan, University of Sheffield: ‘Differentiated embedding and migrants dynamic attachments through space and time’

Prof Derek McGhee and Dr Chris Moreh, Southampton University: ‘Practices of “integration” in the citizenship-mobility nexus’

2:45 – 3:00

Short comfort break and tea served in the seminar room

3:00 – 4:00

Dr Alison B Strang, Queen Margaret University Edinburgh: ‘Applying conceptualisations of integration to policy and practice – examining the Scottish experience’.

Dr Maria Sobolewska, University of Manchester: ‘From assimilation to rejection of extremism: what does integration mean and has it become a dangerous concept?’

4:00 – 4:30

Concluding discussion



MRG workshops

Migration Research @ Sheffield hosts approximately three or four workshops across the Faculty of Social Sciences throughout each academic year. The workshops will gather researchers and experts on migration, refugee and citizenship studies across a wide range of disciplines. A call for funding proposals for the academic year of 2017/18 will be distributed in October or November of 2017.