Mapping the new plurality of transnational families: A life course perspective

TitleMapping the new plurality of transnational families: A life course perspective
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWall, K, Bolzman, C
EditorBaldassar, L, Merla, L
Book TitleTransnational families, migration and the circulation of care. Understanding mobility and absence in family life
Place PublishedNew York
ISBN Number978-0-415-62673-6

Combining three theoretical underpinnings – life course approach, care circulation framework and family configurational approach - this chapter deals with the following questions: How does migration experienced at different key points of the life course affect transnational family living? What is the influence of the family life stage on caregiving, and how does this interact with other important factors such as the family configuration and the migration project? Can we identify a plurality of transnational families or does geographical distance have such an overriding impact on family life that it systematically weakens the influence of the life course and leads to one predominant form (usually seen as negative, due to distance) of experiencing care and bonding across borders? Drawing on qualitative case studies carried out over the last ten years on migrant families living in different parts of Europe, in particular in Switzerland and Portugal, this chapter explores the new plurality of transnational families related to migration flows into and across Europe at the beginning of the twenty-first century.