A mixed method approach to the migratory trajectories of Romanian professionals in Barcelona

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Two are the main aims of the paper: to highlight the contributions of sequential mixed method designs in the study of migrations, more specifically in the study of migratory trajectories of skilled Romanian professionals in Barcelona and explain the trajectories of a profile of immigrants that in the Spanish context must be understood from a double exceptionality. Based on a design that includes an online survey to 217 Romanians (belonging to a professional network abroad), 30 biographical interviews and 30 life charts satisfaction of Romanian professionals living in Barcelona, the article tackles the way mixed methods are shaped in the case of skilled profiles of migrants and the particularities of a profile that counts with a low social and academic visibility. As for the methodological contributions, the article reveals the usefulness of online survey (and cluster analysis) as a tool to determine the selection of the profiles studied in the second phase of the study (qualitative). The second methodological contribution links with the way life satisfaction charts may be combined with the analysis of biographical interviews. Finally, the main empirical contribution highlights the heterogeneous nature of the profile of skilled migrants, who develops strategies and different paths depending on the set of resources that mobilize before and especially after migrating. While those who migrate through the transfer of a multinational company count on a safety net that is the company itself, for those who correspond to the profile of international students, the institution is perceived as a launching platform that leads to the incorporation into the skilled labour market, even in times of economic crisis. Finally, when the meso level resources do not exist, the micro-level resources (social networks) are the one that explain successful careers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-38
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Migratory trajectories
  • Mixed methods
  • Professionals in Spain
  • Romanian migration
  • Skilled migration


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