Moving People,
Changing Places
unpacks the issues of migration, identity and diversity facing contemporary societies.

It features information, stories, images and learning resources, with links and further reading to follow up.

Read about new research on the histories and cultures of Britain's diverse communities.

Learn about:

Black Romans in Britain
Viking legacy
How migrants made Britain
British Asian cities
Home and away
Music and migration
Identity through food
Learning to live together
And much more


Moving People Changing Places

Research on moving people, changing places

From 2005-10 a major programme of research was conducted in the UK. It was called Diasporas, Migration and Identities. Over a hundred university researchers worked with people from museums and galleries, public bodies, and voluntary and community organisations to investigate the impact of migration and diasporas on history, culture, religion, language, traditions and laws, the imagination, emotions and places. Their findings and insights lie behind the information and stories presented here.

The Director of the research programme was Professor Kim Knott.  She has written the material for Moving People, Changing Places.


People have always migrated, whether to fulfil their needs or in search of a better way of life.  Their movements have had an impact on how they see themselves and their relations with others.  Their journeys and new settlements have changed the places left behind as well as their new locations.

Such movements and changes have affected the consciousness, feelings and practices of migrants and their new neighbours.  Memories of the past remain important for both groups.  Thoughts about what lives were once like and how places used to be still linger, at the same time as new paths are being forged.  This sense of the importance of both past and present, home and away can lead in creative directions and to new relationships.  But it can also cause anxiety and animosity.

These innovations and challenges are experienced by all societies with dynamic and diverse populations.  They are central for understanding migration, identities and diasporic communities and their cultures. 

Key concepts of migration, identities and diasporas are introduced and defined. How we face the challenges of living together as citizens in diverse societies is discussed. 

Migration histories looks at some major historical migrations and how they have helped shape the UK.

Locations focuses on places of migration and multi-ethnic settlement and introduces the idea of transnationalism.

Identities and cultures looks at various aspects of culture and what they tell us about our own identities and the different people who make up the UK.