Research Fellow


Division: Institute for Global Health and Development

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Arek Dakessian is a Research Fellow in the Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD).

Dr Arek Dakessian is a sociologist interested in cultural production, material culture, racialisations and refugeedom. His doctoral thesis, entitled “Casting Nets and Framing Films: An Ethnography of Networks of Cultural Production in Beirut” was a mixed-methods ethnographic exploration of filmmaking networks in his hometown drawing upon social network analysis (SNA). It engaged with how freelance filmmakers navigate the social network markets in which they operate, how they are co-produced by the films that they produce and, finally, the emergence of social worlds out of sustained on-set relationships and their spillover into life off-set. Arek is also a founding member of LIVED, an Edinburgh-based charity dedicated to researching refugeedom, as well as a member of the Social Network Analysis group of Scotland.

Research Overview: Arek’s research at the IGHD revolves around refugeedom and integration. Specifically, he is part of a team that investigates the role of social relationships and social connectedness in enabling integration, both from the perspective of host and displaced communities.

Active research interests: Refugeedom; displacement; race and racialization; cultural production; material culture; social network analysis.

Research Methods: Ethnography; Social Network Analytic techniques; arts-based research.

Family Reunion Integration Service

This research project focusses on the reunion of 900 families who have come to the UK as refugees. This national project will work in eight locations across all four countries within the UK to see how this group of people can be supported to access health, education, housing and welfare services.

The research carried out at Queen Margaret University will develop an innovative app to study how the social connections within, between and outside this group affect integration into the host country.

This project is a partnership with the British Red Cross and Barnardo’s. This project is part funded by the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. Making management of migration flows more efficient across the European Union.