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The Experiences of Accession 8 Migrants in England: Motivations, Work and Agency



Drawing on a recently completed qualitative study in a northern English city, this paper explores motivations and experiences of Accession 8 (A8) migrants who have entered the United Kingdom following the expansion of the European Union in 2004. The paper considers commonalities and differences among the group of migrants routinely referred to as A8 migrant workers/labourers. Diversity is apparent in three particular respects: first, the motivations and forms of movement undertaken; second, their experiences of work within the UK paid labour market; and third, the extent to which the act and experience of migration offers new individual and collective opportunities and potentially opens up spaces for people to negotiate structural constraints and reconfigure aspects of their identity.