The group of people who participated in this research are tertiary educated, have professional experience in their field and have all lived in Australia at some point in their lives. In other ways, however, they are a diverse group of people whose stories interweave in intricate patterns, sometimes showing a degree of commonality in their experiences but more often showing the different, shifting and situational experiences of migration, and always revealing the intensely emotional work that underpins the desire to belong. Through in-depth narrative analyses this book contributes to an understanding of the ways skilled migrants experience their mobile trajectories and histories. The life course approach provides an alternative to transnational research that focuses on linear links between a singular origin and destination country or a single migrant classificatory scheme. I show the productivity of viewing Australia as one site within a global network of relations. Notions of who constitutes a skilled migrant in contemporary society are unsettled, demonstrating the diversity of different mobility patterns, identities, sites of connections and visa categories that reflect the continuum of migration experiences over time and space. The research shows the various transitions that happen before and after political designations of ‘skilled migration’, which may include a range of temporary visas, long-term residency opportunities and often, though not always, citizenship. Reframing skilled migration discourses in this way involves reconsidering neo-liberal conceptions of human capital and knowledge transfer to include the embodied, affective, social and cultural consequences of mobility.
KeywordsSkilled migration Mobility Life-course Trajectories Narrative Time Space
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