Middle Class International Migration: French Nationals Working in the UK


International migration researchers have generally focused on either high-level managers and specialists working for multinational corporations, or laborers and blue collar workers who move from developing to developed countries. But international migration patterns are clearly more diverse in composition and structure. Middle class workers who voluntarily leave their home countries in search of white collar positions represent one under-researched group. The few international migration studies that have been conducted for this group have focused on workers from English-speaking countries. This research will concentrate on a significant number of French speakers (up to one-half million), mostly under the age of 35, who have crossed the English Channel to live and work in the United Kingdom. I will examine the mechanisms that facilitate such migration, the kinds of jobs these migrants perform, and how their migration fits in with their long-term employment plans. The majority of French migrants are strongly career-oriented, unlike many of their counterparts from English-speaking countries who emphasize self-realization and exploration. I also explore the question of why EU migration from non-EU countries still exceeds intra-EU migration.

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Tzeng, R. (2012). Middle Class International Migration: French Nationals Working in the UK. Advances in Applied Sociology, 2, 120-126. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2012.22016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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