Theorising Chance: Capturing the Role of Ad Hoc Social Interactions in Migrants' Trajectories

Nataliia Gladkova*, Valentina Mazzucato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

When collecting migrants' life stories, researchers often report on the role of chance encounters in influencing the way migration trajectories have taken shape or how migrants have managed their lives in a new country. Aside from reporting on such encounters, however, there have been no explicit efforts to theorise chance or to make it central to in-depth analysis in migration studies. This paper aims to theorise the role of chance encounters in migrants' trajectories by drawing on insights from the psychology literature of chance encounters and life paths. Our analysis of the role of chance encounters, structured by the interplay between environmental and personal factors, suggests that how people deal with chance is an influential factor in the ways people migrate from the Global South to the Global North and manage their lives in transit. The paper makes use of evidence collected among 46 African migrants in Ukraine during 7 months of field research in 2011-2012 and reflects on the methodological implications in studying chance. Copyright (C) 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1988
Pages (from-to)e1988
Number of pages13
JournalPopulation Space and Place
Volume23
Issue number2
Early online date20 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Africa
  • BIOGRAPHICAL APPROACH
  • CULTURE
  • DETERMINANTS
  • EUROPE
  • LIFE PATHS
  • NETWORKS
  • TRANSIT MIGRATION
  • chance
  • trajectories
  • transit migration

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