Retiring to Spain: British women’s narratives of nostalgia, belonging and c...
This seminar, based on my book ‘Retiring to Spain’ focuses on the lives of a group of women from the UK who moved to the Costa Blanca in retirement. The women in this study seek ‘community’ and belonging in a world characterised by rapid social change. Imbued with nostalgic yearning, community is hailed as a panacea to the ills of modernity and as a representation of social continuity. Nostalgia chronotopically links time and space and the search for community and belonging can also be understood as a quest for another epoch. For many of these women, migrating in retirement symbolises a movement back in time as well as across space: they moved to Spain to escape Britain in an uncertain present, and to return to an imagined ‘England’ of the past. They imagine and create their own solutions to feelings of dislocation, both in the UK and in Spain, against the backdrop of policy and political uses of community in the UK.
Dr Anya Ahmed has a background in social policy and sociology and is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Salford, UK. Prior to becoming an academic she was previously employed by a local authority and housing association in policy and housing management roles. She has also worked as a freelance trainer and consultant. Prior to becoming an academic she was previously employed by a local authority and housing association in policy and housing management roles. She has also worked as a freelance trainer and consultant. In an academic context, she has led a range of externally funded research projects examining the experiences of less heard communities, for example Somalis in London/Somalis in Europe (Open Society Foundations, 2014).
Recent related publications include a joint edited volume ‘Working with Marginalised Groups: from policy to practice’ published by Palgrave, and Ahmed, A. & Rogers, M. (2016) Polly’s Story: using structural narrative analysis to examine a trans migration journey Qualitative Social Work Special Issue: Narrative and Social Work. Anya also researches and writes about different forms of migration (forced, economic, lifestyle), with a particular focus on belonging, community and identity and structural narrative analysis. Her recent publications focus on gender, ageing and migration and include: Ahmed, A. & Hall, K. (2016) Negotiating the challenges of ageing as a British migrant in Spain GeroPsych Special Issue; Ahmed, A. (2015) ‘Retiring to Spain: Women’s Narratives of Nostalgia, Belonging and Community’ Bristol, Policy Press; Ahmed, A. (2015) UK Migration and Welfare Regimes in Karl, U. and Torres, S. Ageing in the Context of Migration, Routledge and Ahmed, A. (2013) Structural narrative analysis: understanding experiences of lifestyle migration through two plot typologies, Journal of Qualitative Inquiry, 19, 2, 232-243.