London Met Professor publishes pioneering new book on social networks and migration

In a new book Professor Louise Ryan, Director of the Global Diversities and Inequalities Research Centre, breaks new ground in understanding social networks in contexts of migration. 

Date: 15 February 2023

Professor Louise Ryan's new book Social Networks and Migration: relocations, relationships and resources, published in January 2023, advances Louise’s pioneering work on qualitative social network analysis. The book draws on the rich biographical narratives of migrants.  The book brings together, for the first time, Louise’s varied studies carried out over the past 20 years. From post-war migrants from the Caribbean, to refugees from the Middle East, to Polish and Irish migrants in the 21st century, the book explores changes but also continuities in how diverse migrants access and build social networks in London. 

Prof Ryan, who joined London Metropolitan University in 2020, is a leading expert on migration and was awarded a fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2015 for her contribution to migration research.  In 2022 she was named among the mostly cited scholars in the world. 

Her new book is an important contribution at the cutting edge of social network analysis and migration research. The book has been praised by leading migration scholars. Professor Russell King of the University of Sussex has said: “this book by one of the most prolific scholars of migration offers deep insights into how migrants’ social networks function and evolve over time. Stunningly original and essential reading!”  

While Professor Basak Bilecen of the University of Groningen, Netherlands, described the book as “A stunning piece of scholarship that explores how migrants’ personal relationships are constantly changing by the new framework of telling network stories. Through an empirically rich and analytically innovative book, Ryan makes an indispensable contribution to qualitative network analysis in migration research.”  

A short video has been produced in which Louise describes the book, and a related blog post was published in Transforming Society, which goes into detail about the social networks migrants’ encounter and use to navigate lives in London.

Cover of Louise Ryan's new book Social Networks and Migration