Samitha Udayanga
Samitha Udayanga

BIGSSS, Universit├Ąt Bremen


Unicom, Haus 9, Room: 93290

Regular Ph.D. Fellow, Cohort 2023

Research Interests

Sociology of happiness

Subjective well-being of immigrants

Social policy on immigrants

South Asian studies

Dissertation topic
Gender Inequality, and Happiness Trajectories of Highly Educated Immigrants

Dissertation abstract
Overall, migration tends to increase happiness. However, this happiness does not always persist over time and may even vary among different groups of migrants. Our research focuses on highly educated immigrants, a group that has received little attention in previous studies. This is probably because, at first glance, they seem to be an unproblematic group. They are in high demand and, therefore, relatively easy to integrate in aging countries. However, upon closer inspection, higher education may lead to increased expectations and aspirations. We anticipate gender differences (with women being happier and men less so), as gender roles can vary significantly between the country of origin and the host country. We also hypothesize that immigration policies have an impact on immigrants' well-being. At the same time, we will investigate why happiness levels off after a certain period. Countries with a history of immigration, such as the UK and Australia, have policies that are likely more conducive to the happiness of highly educated immigrants than the policies in countries without a history of immigration (like Germany). Using longitudinal panel data in those three countries, we strive to explore the complex intersections between gender, happiness, intergenerational mobility, and immigration policies.

Academic Supervisors
Hilke Brockmann
Wiebke Schulz