Ana-Maria Cirstea – “Precarious Trajectories: An Anthropological Study of Romanian Labour Migrants in post-Brexit”

In Students by Debbie Curtis

  • Durham University
  • Anthropology
  • ana.m.cirstea@durham.ac.uk

My undergraduate degree was a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from the University of Durham. For my dissertation, I studied the Romanian anti-corruption protests unfolding in 2017. As part of the 1+3 pathway, my proposed doctoral project looks to critically examine the impact of Brexit on Romanian labour migrants in the UK. To address this, I will conduct ethnographic fieldwork both in the UK and in Romania starting with 2019, tracing migrants’ journeys and the relationships they build. 

By analysing the narratives of Romanian labour migrants in the UK, my work will shed light on the reasons, circumstances, and practices of this pathologized community. I aim to move past the simplistic evaluation of the ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors behind migration, instead exploring it holistically as a social, economic and political phenomenon. Concepts explored in my proposed doctoral project include diaspora, neo-orientalism, borders, rootedness, and displacement. 

The main research methods used in my proposed study will be participant observation, interviewing and ethnography. The combination of interviews and participant observation will enable me to understand perceptions of the ‘homeland’ both in discourse and in material representations of Romania, such as food, drinks, or objects. I am also interested in exploring visual modes of documentation and dissemination and will use ethnographic filming and photography during my proposed PhD.