Anastasia Bermudez presents her paper 'Does migration from Colombia to the UK constitute a migration system?' in Parallel session III(C) of the conference Examining Migration Dynamics: Networks and Beyond, 24-26 Sept 2013
There is limited information and analysis of contemporary migration flows from Colombia to the United Kingdom, despite the fact that this migrant community has attracted increased research interest in the new ‘super-diverse’ Britain. Colombians are one of the oldest and the second-largest national group within the growing Latin American diaspora in London, and are behind many of the ethnic-based organisations and businesses created by this group. However, little is known about the origins and development of these flows. This paper has two main aims. The first is to track the emergence and development of a potential migration system linking Colombia and the United Kingdom. The second is to explore the role of both agency and structure in this context, in line with current scholarship on migration systems. This paper is based on the limited secondary data available, and the primary data accumulated during more than ten years of research with the Colombian community in London. One of the main contributions of the paper is the adoption of an intersectional approach that takes into account gender, class and type of migration when analysing the role of agency and the so-called pioneer migrants.