Pioneer migrants and their social relations in super-diverse London

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Urban areas in Europe and beyond have seen significant changes in immigration patterns, leading to profound diversification characterized by the multiplication of people of different national origins, migration histories, religions, educational backgrounds, legal statuses and socio-economic backgrounds, a condition now commonly described as super-diversity. An important part of this super-diversity is individual migrants who do not follow established chain migrations. Little is known about processes of settlement of migrants who do not form part of larger migration movements and might not be able to draw on the support of others of the same national, ethnic, linguistic, religious and socio-economic background. This article describes patterns of settlement of such individual migrants in London. Drawing on the notion of “pioneer migration”, the article focuses on social networks, examining the kinds of social relations pioneer migrants form in the course of settlement and showing that many migrants strive to form social relations beyond co-ethnics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-34
Number of pages18
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Early online date29 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Ethnic and Racial Studies on 29/11/2017, available online:

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • Pioneer migration
  • super-diversity
  • methodological nationalism
  • social relations
  • settlement
  • London


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