Families and Intergenerational Relations in Migration: Challenges and Opportunities

Keywords: Family migration, Transnational families, Intergenerational relations


In a worldwide context of growing migration processes, international research confirms the central role that families play in the migration plans and strategies of individuals, including the decision to emigrate and which family members must or can do so. The family also takes on considerable importance in defining subsequent modifications, such as the length and development of migratory projects. The “migrant family” is located in a social system where roles and relationships can be partially or completely different. The settlement of individuals in the receiving country, and their changing migration plans and strategies follow multiple pathways. The experience of migration, with its cultural and emotional break-ups can redefine and reorganise networks and relational dynamics, particularly between men and women, parents, grandparents and children. In particular, transnational families designate family networks composed of members who live in two or more countries, but maintain a sense of ‘familyhood’ across distance, time, and exchange, to various degrees, care and support. Relevant are the various ways in which they maintain family ties and connections across national borders and across generations and the pressures and transformations that may arise within and across the generations because of their embeddedness in different socio-cultural contexts.


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