Jan 24, 2021

Promoting wellbeing across borders: migration, social remittances and health


Promoting health in global context requires detailed understanding of migration and transnationalism. Annually millions of people migrate across international borders. Telecommunications technologies and affordable air travel allow migrants to communicate with family and other networks in their countries of origin. These connections allow the transmission of ideas and information – sometimes termed ‘social remittances’ – back-and-forth across countries. Transnational exchanges are increasingly recognised as drivers of contemporary socio-cultural change, having sustained and far-reaching effects on understandings and practices at individual and collective levels. However, the potential for such socio-cultural flows to promote or undermine health among migrants and ‘stayers’ has rarely been examined. Indeed, while migrant health is high on policy agendas, conceptualisations often depict fixed differences or one-way ‘acculturation’ processes, overlooking the significance of transnational social spaces. Similarly, while economic remittances receive attention in migrant-sending countries, the impact of social flows on health remains largely unexplored. This research group is addressing these important over-looked issues and aiming to generate new conceptual, methodological and substantive knowledge that inform policy and practice.