Professor Rebecca Kay
- Affiliate Professor (School of Social & Political Sciences)
I joined the University of Glasgow in 1999 as Lecturer in Central and East European Studies. I was promoted to my current position of Professor of Russian Gender Studies in 2006.
In 2006-09 I was head of Central and East European Studies and in 2010-2015 I was co-founder and co-convenor of the Glasgow Refugee, Migration and Asylum Network (GRAMNet). I currently convene the Migration and Mobilities research group
I have written extensively on issues of migration, social security, care, welfare and gender in Russia and Scotland and offer undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and PhD supervision in all these areas.
I am a member of the Scottish Government's Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population
I am Senior Researcher at Migration Policy Scotland
- Migration, especially from Central and Eastern Europe to Scotland
- Care, Welfare and Social Security
- Ethnographic and participatory research
- Gender politics and identity
- Russian culture and society
Language Learning and Migrant Integration in Scotland:
I am currently working on this British Academy funded research project led by Dr Francesca Stella (sociology).
Through a a qualitative study of ESOL provision in Scotland this project aims to answer the following questions:
- What is the relationship between language learning and migrant ‘integration’?
- Is it understood in the same ways by the different stakeholders involved: learners, teachers, providers and policy-makers?
- How are migrants’ needs and experiences of language learning shaped by location, migrant status and/or gender?
Multi-sited fieldwork in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in 2019-2021 involved semi-structured interviews with learners, teachers and policy-makers.
The project will provide new insights into the complex landscape of ESOL provision in Scotland, at a point when it is undergoing significant changes in terms of governance, funding and co-ordination. The project findings will be of interest to academic audiences, policy makers and practitioners in Scotland, other parts of the UK, and wider European contexts.
Social Support and Migration in Scotland:
I recently led a large ESRC funded research project exploring Social Support and Migration in Scotland (SSAMIS) which ran between November 2013 and November 2018. The project studied perspectives and experiences of 'social security' amongst migrants from Central Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union in Scotland, and how experiences of 'social security' (used in a holistic sense to mean the ways migrants make themselves socially, economically, personally and culturally secure in a new environment) impact upon longer term intentions regarding settlement in Scotland. Through its long-term and deep engagement with migrant communities, to deliver new and original empirical data the project aimed to provide insights of benefit not only in terms of its academic contribution, but also through its practical and policy relevance. A key part of the project was its participatory action research element. This has led to a range of community based initiatives, policy engagements and reports for policy and practice. See the Project Website for further details, like us on Facebook: ssamisproject, or follow us on Twitter @ssamisproject.
Social Security, Care and the Withdrawing State in Rural Russia:
My most recent previous project explored intersecting issues of care, welfare and social security in the context of a Siberian village. This was funded in 2009-10 by a grant from the British Academy. The project involved a detailed study of the gendered nature of experiences and practices of care, welfare and social security in contemporary Russia, and the ways in which people draw on a variety of state/non-state, formal/informal resources in order to create forms of material and social security for themselves and others. For more details please visit the project page
Gender, Identity and Socio-Economic Transformations:
I have been interested in studying gendered experiences of socio-economic, cultural and political transformation in contemporary Russia since the early 1990s. My doctoral research focused on women's experiences in the early years of post-Soviet transformation and considered women's engagement with grassroots women's organisations as a means of negotiating these gendered transformations. Perhaps inevitably, questions emerged from this research regarding the impacts of gender on men's lives and experiences. My first externally funded project considered the lives and concerns of men in provincial Russia. For more details visit the project page.
British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant ‘Language learning and migrant 'integration' in Scotland: exploring infrastructure, provision and experiences’ (2019-22). Dr Francesca Stella (Principal Investigator), with Professor Rebecca Kay (co-I)
Previous externally funded projects
I led a large ESRC funded research project exploring Social Support and Migration in Scotland (SSAMIS) which ran between November 2013 and November 2018.
The project studied perspectives and experiences of 'social security' amongst migrants from Central Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union in Scotland, and how experiences of 'social security' (used in a holistic sense to mean the ways migrants make themselves socially, economically, personally and culturally secure in a new environment) impact upon longer term intentions regarding settlement in Scotland.
Through its long-term and deep engagement with migrant communities, to deliver new and original empirical data the project aimed to provide insights of benefit not only in terms of its academic contribution, but also through its practical and policy relevance. A key part of the project was its participatory action research element. This has led to a range of community based initiatives, policy engagements and reports for policy and practice.
See the Project Website for further details.
Follow us on twitter @ssamisproject; Like us on Facebook ssamisproject
Social Secuirty, Care and the 'Withdrawing State' in Rural Russia: A Case Study from Altai Krai (British Academy 2009-2010)
Understanding Men, Masculinity and Identity In Post-Soviet Russia (Leverhulme Trust 2002-2004)
I greatly enjoy postgraduate supervision and will be happy to consider proposals from students interested in pursuing postgraduate research related to any of my areas of experience. The department of Central and East European Studies has a policy of joint supervision and I am pleased to be involved in the supervision of students where I can offer either methodological or thematic insight in collaboration with colleagues. I am currently supervisor to 4 PhD students.
Currently supervised PhD topics include:
- Who cares for the carers? Health and ageing among Ukrainian care workers in Italy, Maria Izzo (co-supervised with Alistair Hunter, School of Interdisciplinary Studies)
- Becoming a queer migrant in Kazakhstan:choices, pathways and identities, Elliot Napier (co-supervised with Francesca Stella, Sociology)
- The experience of fathers in Immigration detention in the UK, Kate Alexander (co-supervised with Maria Fletcher, School of Law)
- Feminist Historiography of Philosophy: The Case of Ukraine, Veronika Puhach (visiting PhD researcher, Kiev Mohyla University)
PhD theses successfully defended:
- Katy Turton , Forgotten Lives: The role of Ana, Ol'ga and Mariia Ul'ianova in the Russian Revolution, 1864-1937. 2004
- Courtney Bain, Entrepreneurship in Russia: Patterns and Problems of its Development in the Post-Soviet Period. 2006
- Vikki Turbine, Women's perceptions of human rights and rights-based approaches in everyday life: a case study from provincial Russia. 2007
- Francesca Stella , Lesbian identities and everyday spaces in contemporary urban Russia. 2009
- Jackie Kirkham, A Comparative Study of Voluntary/Non-Governmental Sector Provision of Health Services in Romania and the Republic of Moldova. 2010
- Rebecca Reynolds, Natural Resources, Ethnicity and Conflict in the Ferghana Valley, Kyrghyzstan. 2011
- Eleanor Bindman, The European Union and Human Rights NGOs in Russia during Putin's Second Term. 2012
- Holly Porteous, Representations of Women in Contemporary Russian Culture. 2014
- Taulant Guma, Negotiations of social security welfare and risk amongst migrant populations from former socialist countries residing in Glasgow. 2015
- Poppy Kohner, Performing Violent Identities: challenging the script of victims and perpetrators of violence. 2016
- Amy Watson, Gendered Everyday Experiences of Welfare and Neoliberalism in the Czech Republic. 2016
- Ruth McKenna, Russia in Scottish media and popular discourse: the impact on Russian migrants in Scotland. 2018
- Anne McShane, Liberating the Eastern Slave’ - the role of the Zhenotdel (Women’s Bureau) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in Central Asia of the 1920s’. 2019
- Nina Ivashinenko, Language Preservation and Social Integration amongst Russian-Speaking Families in Scotland. 2019
- Natalia Khalymonchik, The Influence of Japanese Popular Culture on Russian Youth Subcutural Communities. 2019
- Fanni Gyurko, Exploring the socio-legal aspects of low-level corruption: A study of informal economic transactions of long-term local residents and migrants in Scotland and Hungary. 2021
- Blair Biggar, Understanding ‘lived citizenship’: A study of Roma in Scotland. 2022
- Sonja Ruottunen, National scripts of family life and state action in the context of post-socialist migration. 2022
- Sopio Davituri, Gender Inequality and Women’s Negotiation of Public and Private Spaces in Contemporary Georgia. 2022
- Gareth Storrie, African and Czech Perspectives on African Identity: The influence of multimedia depictions and portrayals of sub-Saharan Africans on social cohesion in the Czech Republic. 2022
This year I will be teaching and/or contributing to the following undergraduate courses