Impact of Migration to the UK on Lithuanian Migrant Family Relationships
Since the opening of European borders to new EU member states, a large number of immigrants continue to arrive in the UK and specifically to the East Midlands and East Anglia. To date, little or no research has been conducted to understand their experience and adjustment in this part of the country. With my research I aimed to find out how Lithuanian emigration affected family relationships and to identify issues that families face when a member emigrates on his/her own. I conducted qualitative research using different methods of data collection: online (skype) and face-to-face interviews, focus group and remote discussion techniques. Data has been coded using NVivo8 and NVivo10 and analysed using grounded theory. Findings show that the transition stage, while a family lives apart, puts an enormous strain on relationships within a family. However, it does not lead to nor causes break ups provided the family was a close unit prior to migration. The final results support the emerging theory that if the family had good relationships back in Lithuania, then all challenges of migration would not break that bond. On the contrary, they would strengthen relationships. My findings answer the initial research question as to whether migration to the UK affects Lithuanian family relationships by suggesting that it does not any more than any other stressful life events, e.g. death, childbirth, job loss, illness, house move, etc. Findings suggest that, if families discuss matters and look for the solutions together, the negative impact of migration might be avoided or lessened. My research contributes to the knowledge by applying novelty frameworks such as grounded theory and Layder’s theory of social domains in order to analyse and understand the Lithuanian migration phenomenon in the UK, particularly in East Anglia and the East Midlands.
- PhD