A Context Issue? Comparing the Attitude Towards Return of the Albanian First and Second Generation in Europe

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Abstract

Intentions to return are an important variable in migration research since they affect migrants’ links and contribution to the home country. Increasingly the literature sees the need to consider return in relation to the immigrant family, since parents condition the return of the children, while children significantly impact the family’s possibility and plans to return. This paper draws on interviews with Albanian-origin teenagers and their parents in London, Thessaloniki and Florence and aims to bring a multi-sited comparative and inter-generational perspective on attitudes towards return. Three main trends emerge in the case of the future mobility intentions of the second generation: return to homeland for better opportunities and better social integration; migration of the second generation in Greece and Italy to more developed countries in North-West Europe; and a cosmopolitan orientation towards global cities and an eagerness to know other cultures. There are however important differences between the three field sites, between the first and the second generation, and in terms of gender. Attitudes towards return or future relocation or circulation are moulded by experiences of transnational mobility, information flows from the home country, other places where family and kin have migrated, and global information channels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-364
JournalJournal of Mediterranean Studies
Volume20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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first generation
parents
migration research
information flow
social integration
move
Homelands
Greece
Italy
migrant
immigrant
migration
gender
trend
interview
Intentions
experience

Cite this

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title = "A Context Issue? Comparing the Attitude Towards Return of the Albanian First and Second Generation in Europe",
abstract = "Intentions to return are an important variable in migration research since they affect migrants’ links and contribution to the home country. Increasingly the literature sees the need to consider return in relation to the immigrant family, since parents condition the return of the children, while children significantly impact the family’s possibility and plans to return. This paper draws on interviews with Albanian-origin teenagers and their parents in London, Thessaloniki and Florence and aims to bring a multi-sited comparative and inter-generational perspective on attitudes towards return. Three main trends emerge in the case of the future mobility intentions of the second generation: return to homeland for better opportunities and better social integration; migration of the second generation in Greece and Italy to more developed countries in North-West Europe; and a cosmopolitan orientation towards global cities and an eagerness to know other cultures. There are however important differences between the three field sites, between the first and the second generation, and in terms of gender. Attitudes towards return or future relocation or circulation are moulded by experiences of transnational mobility, information flows from the home country, other places where family and kin have migrated, and global information channels.",
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AB - Intentions to return are an important variable in migration research since they affect migrants’ links and contribution to the home country. Increasingly the literature sees the need to consider return in relation to the immigrant family, since parents condition the return of the children, while children significantly impact the family’s possibility and plans to return. This paper draws on interviews with Albanian-origin teenagers and their parents in London, Thessaloniki and Florence and aims to bring a multi-sited comparative and inter-generational perspective on attitudes towards return. Three main trends emerge in the case of the future mobility intentions of the second generation: return to homeland for better opportunities and better social integration; migration of the second generation in Greece and Italy to more developed countries in North-West Europe; and a cosmopolitan orientation towards global cities and an eagerness to know other cultures. There are however important differences between the three field sites, between the first and the second generation, and in terms of gender. Attitudes towards return or future relocation or circulation are moulded by experiences of transnational mobility, information flows from the home country, other places where family and kin have migrated, and global information channels.

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