The Roles of Acculturation Pressures and Migration Reasons on Subjective Well-Being for Migrants: Findings from Japan, Australia, the US, and the UK

This event will draw upon frameworks in acculturation psychology and migration studies, identifying key variables that influence migrants’ subjective mental well-being, including reasons for migration and acculturation pressures within their receiving societies. Subjective well-being is operationalized in terms of life satisfaction, stress, happiness, and anxiety. Adam Komisarof will detail social markers of acceptance, which are the criteria that receiving society members use in deciding whether to accept migrants as members of the local community socially. These criteria may be achievable, such as linguistic or cultural competence, or ascribed, such as having certain ancestors or being in a specific ethnic group. He will then detail findings that assess the extent to which migrants feel that they fit both achieved and ascribed social markers in Japan, Australia, and the US and examine the impact of that fit on migrant mental health. Daisy Pollenne and Carlos Vargas-Silva will describe their research about the subjective well-being of migrants in the UK. Existing evidence points to persisting differences in migrants’ living outcomes in the UK, such as lower employment rates, even after decades in the country, which are associated with their initial reason for migrating (i.e., employment, study, family, or asylum). However, migrants’ perspectives on this relationship are missing. Thus, this work addresses differences in migrants’ subjective well-being, accounting for their initial migration reason and assessing the degree of long-term convergence/divergence between subjective well-being and other living outcomes.

Following the welcoming from the Migration Oxford convener, invited speakers will deliver presentations on their research as described above, followed by the discussant’s remarks. The speakers and discussant will then welcome questions and comments from the audience and engage in a dialogue to further discussion of the event’s main themes. Light refreshments will be served.

This event is open to students and migration researchers at all stages of their careers, including senior scholars leading participatory research projects from across the Social Sciences Division. Members of the Oxford Sanctuary Community are also warmly invited to attend.

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