Bidirectional remittance flows: the experience of Romanian students and migrant care workers in the United Kingdom

Ciurea, Andreea (2022) Bidirectional remittance flows: the experience of Romanian students and migrant care workers in the United Kingdom. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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This thesis examines a new concept of asymmetrical bidirectional remittance, set within a transnational social fabric encompassing the emotional aspects of family practices that shape an asymmetrical remittance exchange. Through the lens of the New Economics of Labour Migration (NELM) theory and transnationalism, as well as the experiences of Romanian students and migrants working in care, we explore the bidirectional and asymmetrical nature of remittances. Historically, the frame of analysis of migrant remittances typically focuses on the remittance exchange between the migrant and the household of origin. The novelty brought by this thesis comes from the fact that most Romanian migrant remittance literature and research focuses on one side of the remittance spectrum, or more recently, on the reverse remittance patterns that do not examine the asymmetrical cyclical nature of bidirectional remittance flows. The thesis also adds a new dimension to the NELM debate by exploring the impact of emotional practices and emotional support, as well as duty, obligation and moral aspects such as shame, guilt, pride or unrelinquished ownership on the need to reciprocate in the form of remittances. In addition, this thesis builds on Carling’s (2008) work on the motives and determinants of the migrants’ remitting behaviour by developing the concept of a bidirectional asymmetrical remittance exchange and exploring its ties to the emotional support shared within the transnational family.

The data analysis findings support the conceptualisation of a bidirectional asymmetric remittance flows notion, while at the same time challenging the construction of non-migrant social actors as passive receivers of migrants’ financial investments. Not only are asymmetrical bidirectional remittance flows empirically observable in the Romanian student and migrant care workers’ narratives analysed as part of this thesis, but they are also a key element of a more extensive system of overlapping processes: emotional support, complex identity construction, transnational social networks, social capital utility, and subordinate roles especially for women.

Ultimately, a holistic form of remitting behaviour has been identified in the narratives collected in this research, distinguished by bidirectional patterns of exchange between the migrant and the household.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: migration, Eastern Europe, emotions, family, transnationalism
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
L700 Human and Social Geography
L900 Others in Social studies
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2022 09:05
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 09:17

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