About Us

The multi-institutional project team consists of Professor Karen O’Reilly and Dr Kate Botterill (Loughborough University), Dr Maggy Lee and Leona LI Ngai Ling (University of Hong Kong) and Professor Rob Stones (Essex University).

The project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, UK and The Research Grants Council, Hong Kong

Karen O’Reilly

I have been studying lifestyle migration for almost twenty years, and have written several books and papers on the topic, including: Lifestyle Migration: Aspirations, Expectations and Experiences; The British on the Costa del Sol; and International Migration and Social Theory.

I particularly like to use ethnographic methods, such as conversation, listening and sharing. My research in Spain, for example, involved living for many years amongst British migrants. I also have experience conducting and analyzing surveys.I am looking forward to drawing on these techniques, plus visual and virtual methods, to learn about the lives of Migrants in China, Malaysia and Thailand. Email k.oreilly(at)lboro.ac.uk

Kate Botterill

Kate has been researching migration and migrant lives for over three years. She recently graduated from Newcastle University with a PhD in human geography entitled  ‘Polish Mobilities and the Re-making of Self, family and Community’. This thesis explored contemporary Polish migration to the UK and the different motivations, experiences and aspirations of young Polish migrants living in Edinburgh, Krakow and Katowice. Kate is an experienced qualitative researcher having worked in social policy research in Sheffield and Leeds (UK) prior to her studies. She has collected, analysed and published reports on social and economic research on a range of topics, including welfare, social mobility and employment in the UK. For this project she is responsible for fieldwork in Thailand. Email k.botterill(at)lboro.ac.uk

Maggy Lee

Maggy Lee is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, The University of Hong Kong. She received her MPhil at the University of Hong Kong and her PhD at the University of Cambridge on policing and juvenile delinquency. She has previously worked as a criminal justice researcher at the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence in London and as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Essex in the UK.

Her recent publications include: M. Lee (2011), Trafficking and Global Crime Control, London: Sage; M. Lee, (2007, ed.) Human Trafficking, Cullompton: Willan; Criminology: A Sociological Introduction (2008, 2nd ed., with Carrabine, Cox, Plummer and South), London: Routledge.

Her other funded research projects include: ‘Home and Away’: Female Transnational Professionals in Hong Kong, Public Policy Research Scheme, Hong Kong Research Grants Council (2011-2013); ‘Fear of Crime and Trust in Crime Control in Hong Kong’, General Research Fund, Hong Kong Research Grants Council (2012-2015); ‘The Polarisation of Transnational Migrant Workers in Global Cities’, Hong Kong University Seed Funding for Basic Research Grant (2007-2008).

Leona LI Ngai Ling

Leona graduated with a Mphil in Sociology from the University of Hong Kong in 2005. Her thesis, ‘Youth Gangs in Hong Kong:  The Convergence of Conventions and Deviations’ is an ethnographic exploration of the dynamics involved in youth gangs. Leona is currently working as a Senior Research Assistant at the Department of Sociology, HKU and has been participating in various research projects on gender, youth, violence, and marginalized populations e.g. drug users, trans-gender population and sex workers. As an ethnographic field worker, Leona is particularly interested in listening to people from different walks of life and representing their untold stories in the academia.

Rob Stones

Rob Stones is Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Professor in Sociology at the University of Essex, UK. He is a social theorist concerned that theory be put to good use in researching the social world and in identifying areas of social life in which people could be served better than they are. He has a long-standing personal and academic interest in Thailand, and has published articles on film representations of Thai migrant workers and on Thai politics. He has also supervised several doctoral theses on Thailand, on subjects including Thai government policies on tourism and the environment, popular social documentary film series on Thai television, and the domestic and international migration of Thai citizens.


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