As immigrant populations have grown in many European cities over recent decades, ethnic enterprises have come to play an increasingly prominent role in urban economies However, for migrants actually working in ethnic firms their employment may play a large part in shaping their subsequent integration into their host society. Ethnic economies may be perceived as the most feasible avenue of economic attainment for recent migrants and from this position, ethnic enterprises could be considered as advantageous to the settlement process. On the other hand, research has indicated that many overseas migrants to Britain are employed in low paid, exploitative types of work. Frequently this is for small ethnically based enterprises that offer little stability and few long term prospects. This research aims to examine the relationship between gender, labour in the ethnic economy and the social inclusion of migrants in the wider society. With special reference to the Turkish community in Britain, this research will focus on the relationship between Turkish women’s work and their position in British society, through focusing on how ethnically based employment affects their capacity to become socially integrated in the dominant society. During the research, an ethnographic and qualitative study will be conducted. This will involve the collection of life histories, in-depth interviews, case studies, focus group meetings and interviews with local government officials and community-based organisations. The sample of 60 women will be located with the assistance of Turkish community organisations, pre-existing contacts among the local Turkish community and a chain-referral method of sampling whereby research participants will introduce further participants.
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