Geografie 2011, 116, 462-479

Return or Stay? The Aspirations of Irregularly Working Immigrants

Lenka Medová

Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Přírodovědecká fakulta, katedra sociální geografie a regionálního rozvoje, GEOMIGRACE – Geografické migrační centrum, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2, Czechia

Received May 2011
Accepted September 2011

This article deals with immigrants performing irregular economic activities in Czechia; specifically, it presents a typology of immigrants’ aspirations and factors influencing the successful realization of these aspirations. The findings are based on a qualitative data analysis of 177 respondents and utilize a conceptual framework proposed by van Meeteren, Engbersen and van San (2009). Five types of aspirations/immigrants are identified – so called “temporary immigrants”, “long-term immigrants”, “legalisation immigrants”, “working tourists” and immigrants with unclear aspirations. Different types of immigrants must activate different forms of capital to fulfil their aspirations. We argue that some immigrants, engaged in irregular economic activities, do achieve considerable success.


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