In or out? Understanding how social and symbolic boundaries influence the economic integration of transnational migrants in non‐metropolitan economies

Ruth McAreavey, Branka Krivokapic-Skoko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article uses data from Australia and Northern Ireland to examine migrants’ inclusion in non‐metropolitan economies that have limited experience of migration. These places came to our attention in recent decades when the accelerated arrival of migrants presented challenges and opportunities within these so called New Immigration Destinations. We scrutinise migrants’ entry into, their participation in, and eventual mobility within, the labour market in these places. Contributing to the literature that challenges a linear concept of integration, social and symbolic boundaries are used to explore how migrants are included or excluded from rural and regional labour markets. We show how the state frames legal boundaries of inclusion and exclusion and how those boundaries are influenced and manipulated by a range of social actors, including private sector agents working within agri‐food businesses. We find a misalignment between different scales of social boundaries. At a macro level, migrants may be included in the labour market while in reality they can be excluded through everyday interactions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-349
Number of pages20
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number2
Early online date10 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 08 Apr 2019


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