Undocumented Migration in Barbados: A Narrative-Discourse Approach

Abstract

This case reviews the process from design through to execution of a doctoral research project which investigated the experiences of undocumented migrants living in the Caribbean island of Barbados. It is mainly concerned with the challenges specific to the undertaking of research in undocumented migration, as well as those that could impact other research projects. I recommend strategies to deal with some of the challenges encountered, which related primarily to timing of the research as well as lack of statistical data related to migration flows to the country under study. Crucial issues such as classifying migrants, gaining access and dealing with confidential information are also discussed. I conclude that flexibility is a crucial characteristic of the qualitative researcher working with hard-to-reach populations in evolving policy contexts. It enables one to deal with challenges which may arise during the research process in order to ensure successful completion of the research project.

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