The University of Sheffield

Life at the frontier Researching the Impact of Social Frontiers on the Social Mobility and Integration of Migrants

Published on by Aneta Piekut

‘Life at the Frontier: Researching the Impact of Social Frontiers on the Social Mobility and Integration of Migrants’ (2020-2023) is an international research project funded by NordForsk and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), led by Prof. Gwilym Pryce. Rotherham was selected as a qualitative case study where research was conducted by by Dr Aneta Piekut, Dr Zanib Rasool, Dr Henry Staples, and Dr Meng Le Zhang. 

‘Life at the Frontier’ (LATF) spans several countries, including the UK, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, researching the role of community boundaries and segregation on social mobility and community life. The aim of this project is to understand the role of residential segregation, particularly social frontiers, in determining the social mobility and integration of migrants and other groups. Social frontiers arise when neighbouring communities are very different in terms of their cultural, ethnic and/or social make-up, and when the spatial transition in these characteristics is abrupt, rather than gradual. 

Research in Rotherham has also been supported by additional knowledge exchange and participatory research funding building on the LATF project:

- UKRI Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) funded ‘Blurring the edges: social frontiers as places of encounter' (2023).

- UKRI Research England funded ' Crossing the frontier: Exploring the potential of the Collective Mobile Method as a participatory research tool in Rotherham' (2024).

UK qualitative research in Rotherham received ethical approval from the University of Sheffield Ethics Committe (no 042378). 

More information about the project is at the website:

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