|Dr. Özge Bilgili
Simultaneity in transnational migration research: Links between migrants' host and home country orientation
Ronald Skeldon & Peggy Levitt
The dissertation entitled 'Simultaneity in Transnational Migration Research: Links between Migrants' Host and Home Country Orientation' explores concurrently the integration of Afghan, Burundian, Ethiopian and Moroccan migrants in the Netherlands, and their economic and social contacts with their family and friends in their home country. The research reveals that there is a positive link between integration and home country engagement. Namely, it is shown that economically better integrated migrants maintain more economic contact with their home country by sending financial remittances. Plus, contrary to public opinion, stronger social contacts with family and friends in the home country do not hinder sociocultural integration in the Netherlands. Migrants who have strong attachments to their home country are as likely to participate in associations in the Netherlands, spend leisure time with the native Dutch and consume Dutch media and art. In short, what this PhD dissertation shows is that the contacts migrants keep with their home country are a part of their life in the Netherlands, and migrants’ lives are defined both in relation to their home country and in the Netherlands. Consequently, it is important to recognize that more and more people live their lives simultaneously here and there, and integration succeeds as long as migrants have the ability to choose the way they make their lives. Especially in a context of such globalised world, integration does not need to deny migrants´ right to maintain their cultures and continuous economic, cultural and social relations with their home country. In return, integration and development policies can be developed in a way to support each other and enhance the positive impacts of migration. The financial support for this research has been provided by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (IS Academy, Migration and Development: A World in Motion Project).