Stories of HERMES: An Analysis of the Issues Faced by Young European Researchers in Migration and Ethnic Studies


  • Maren Borkert europäisches forum für migrationsstudien Bamberg
  • Carla De Tona Trinity College Dublin



transnational, European research, reflexivity, qualitative methods, migration


This article introduces contemporary migration research from the perspective of a cross-section of itinerant European academics at the early stages of their research career. Specifically, it examines self-reflexivity as an effective tool to support qualitative data analysis in light of the multiple dimensions of migration and ethnic research in Europe. As part of this reflexivity, the paper considers the complex relations and relationships that shape researcher-participant interaction. It shows how these are made even more intricate and confusing by research conducted outside ones home country and/ or with national communities to which one does not "naturally" belong. Over recent years, the European Commission has sought to foster inter-academic exchange, especially amongst new European researchers. Emphasis has been placed on the need to build up effective international and inter-disciplinary research networks but, we argue, very little attention has been directed towards how the processes of up-rooting and re-grouping facilitate and/ or restrict the research experience. Using self-reflexivity, and in light of the particular complexities of carrying out international migration research, the paper will review these issues and seek to increase our understanding of how young European academics become successful transnational researchers. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs060397


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Author Biographies

Maren Borkert, europäisches forum für migrationsstudien Bamberg

Maren BORKERT is the chief editor of this special issue and editor of two German translations and all abstracts. She is the Vice-president of HERMES and affiliated to the European forum for migration studies (efms) at the University of Bamberg. Currently she is preparing her PhD dissertation on integration policies in Italy—their formal provisions, the interaction between political and civil actors involved and the policy implementation in local realities.

Carla De Tona, Trinity College Dublin

Carla DE TONA is responsible for the interviews on the state of the art of qualitative migration research in Europe. She is completing her PhD on Italian migrant women in Ireland in Trinity College Dublin. She teaches in the field of migration studies and is research assistant for a project on Global Network in the Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College.



How to Cite

Borkert, M., & De Tona, C. (2006). Stories of HERMES: An Analysis of the Issues Faced by Young European Researchers in Migration and Ethnic Studies. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(3).