King's College London

Research portal

From coping strategies to tactics: London's low-pay economy and migrant labour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kavita Datta, Cathy McIlwaine, Yara Evans, Joanna Herbert, Jon May, Jane Wills

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-432
Number of pages29
JournalBritish Journal of Industrial Relations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2007

King's Authors


This article examines the means by which low-paid migrant workers survive in a rapidly changing and increasingly unequal labour market. In a departure from the coping strategies literature, it is argued that the difficulties migrant workers face in the London labour market reduces their ability to 'strategize'. Instead, workers adopt a range of 'tactics' that enable them to 'get by', if only just, on a day-to-day basis. The article explores these tactics with reference to the connections between different workers' experiences of the workplace, home and community, and demonstrates the role of national, ethnic and gender relations in shaping migrant workers' experiences of the London labour market and of the city more widely.

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454