A context issue? Comparing the attitude and intentions to return of the Albanian first and second generation in Europe

Vathi, Zana (2011) A context issue? Comparing the attitude and intentions to return of the Albanian first and second generation in Europe. Journal of Mediterranean Studies, 20 (2). ISSN 1016-3476

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Abstract

Attitudes towards and intentions to return have been already identified as an important variable in migration research since they affect migrants links and contribution to the home country. On the other hand, increasingly the literature is noticing the need to consider return in relation to immigrant family, since, as this study also shows, parents condition the return of the children while children significantly impact familys possibility and plans to return. This paper draws from 75 interviews with Albanian-origin teenagers and 45 with Albanian migrants (parents) in London, Thessaloniki and Florence and aims to bring a multi-sited comparative perspective on the attitude towards and intentions to return. Comparative research on links to homeland and return of the Albanian first and second generation is largely lacking, while the case of the Albanian second generation is almost completely unexplored. Findings show that mobilities of the first and the second generation are seen more broadly than simply permanent return to the home country. Three main trends emerge in the case of the second generation and less emphasised in the first generation: return to homeland for better social integration and better opportunities; migration of the second generation in Greece and Italy to the more developed countries in the North-West and in a few cases of those in London to North America, and the cosmopolitan orientation towards global cities and eagerness to know other cultures. There are, however, important differences between the three sites and within the groups in each site, between the first and the second generation, the highly skilled versus unskilled, and in terms of gender. Intentions to return across the three sites are affected by the degree of social integration in the host societies, and the experience of discrimination in the two Southern sites, and the cultural difference in London. Although transnational visits inform and inspire/discourage return, the differences in (opportunity) structure of the three countries and perceptions on a successful integration and outcomes of their migration project significantly affect the attitude towards and intentions to return or towards future migration.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Depositing User: Zana Vathi
Date Deposited: 15 May 2012 08:51
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2012 12:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/38043
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