Identity, Culture and Welfare

This grouping builds on longstanding strengths concerning issues of identity and culture. Its work also has strong links with the substantive themes underpinning the Glasgow Baltic Research Unit.

Current research includes:

  • Dr Moya Flynn’s Leverhulme-funded ethnographic research (2007-12) exploring constructions of urban identities in Central Asia with an emphasis on processes of migration and relations between long-term residents and newcomers (Exploring urban identities and community relations in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan).
  • Dr Francesca Stella’s research (The Carnegie Trust) on lesbian relations in the Soviet Union, examining a hidden aspect of Soviet social history via oral history methodology and contributing new insights to theoretical debates about how state socialism forged distinctive sexual moralities and identities. Related work is examining notions of ‘queer space’ in contemporary Russia as well as related concerns over democratisation and minority rights.
  • Professor Rebecca Kay’s work exploring Russia’s social security and welfare systems (British Academy), building on earlier interests concerning gender identity and social security giving new understanding of the realities of welfare provision in contemporary Russia, with a particular focus on rural contexts.

Recent grant success (ESRC, in collaboration with Swansea) reinforces the grouping’s pre-eminence in areas of migration and social security with a 4-year ESRC project (2013-2016) examining the experiences of social security and prospects for long-term settlement in Scotland amongst migrant populations from Central Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (Dr Flynn, Prof. Kay). The project has at its core an action research element, to enable policy relevance and impact.

The Identity, Culture and Welfare grouping is also a driving force behind the cross-university initiative Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration network (GRAMNet) and contributes strongly to furthering dialogue with non-academic communities working with East European migrants in Scotland and through organisations such as BEMIS and Haven.