This study focuses on a group of highly skilled female migrants who were carers to the elderly, and the roles of education, literacy, and learning in their social networks and mobility in Cumbria, England. Over a one-year period, interviews were conducted with care training specialists, carers, clients, and employers across England, including Cumbria, in conjunction with literature reviews and observations to develop themes about this phenomenon. The findings revealed that there were many barriers to the carers' adjustment and advancement in a new area of settlement, and that these obstacles were complex and invisible to the care sector establishment; while the women's migration took place over physical borders, there were also hidden socio-economic, cultural, policy, and 'paper walls' (Brinkmann 2006) that prevented their access to professional jobs, further and higher education, and formal associations. This case study casts many questions about the geographies of skilled migrant women and their roles in transforming the global care sector as well as their local communities through their educational capital.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Ethnography and Education, 3 (1), 2008, © Informa Plc