Research details

'Good relations' among neighbours and workmates? The everyday encounters of Accession 8 migrants and established communities in urban England

Author[s] Cook, Joanne; Dwyer, Peter and Waite, Louise

Date 2011



The study aims to explore how new temporary and circular migration trends influence the experiences and interactions that occur between new Accession 8 [A8] migrants and host communities. The research looks at whether everyday encounters in both neighbourhood and work spaces serve to enhance or inhibit the building of ‘good relations’ between established communities and newly resident A8 migrants in a multicultural city in northern England.


The research was conducted in Leeds. In total, 89 people participated in the fieldwork. A series of focus groups and family interviews were held with members of 3, newly resident, A8 migrant groups. Participants were drawn from Polish, Slovak and Slovak Roma communities. Eight key informants who recruited, employed or acted as community support workers for A8 migrants were also interviewed. Additionally, 4 parallel focus groups were convened with members of the established West Indian, Pakistani and ‘white’ host communities in neighbourhoods that had recently experienced the arrival of significant numbers of A8 migrants. Finally, 3 focus groups were held with agencies involved in the provision and/or administration of local public services, for example, City Council services, primary care trusts, housing providers and schools.

Key issues

The article looks at the intercultural exchange between A8 migrants and established community members. It highlights the evident lack of meaningful engagement between established communities and A8 migrants, which generally failed to produce constructive or generative interactions between the two groups.


The study found that the common spaces of neighbourhood and work shared by many A8 migrants and established community members facilitated everyday encounters that ranged from negative experiences and absences of interaction through to more active spatial strategies of withdrawal from mixing with members of ‘other’ communities. The research showed that the everyday encounters between the established communities and A8 migrants did not open up spaces for meaningful engagement that were capable of breaking down stereotypes and barriers to integration.

Further details

Resource type
journal article

Population Space and Place

Published by
Wiley Online Library
17, 727-741

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