Chapter 7: Migrants and transnational family life in South America: between new families and old practices
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South America has been characterized as a destination of mass migrations since the nineteenth century with an unprecedented surge in new immigrant groups since 2009 especially. The question that guides this chapter is: how do South American migrant families relate to the host societies and the State that will be their new country? This chapter analyses the patterns and trends of the ‘new’ global families arriving in South America, looking at the dynamics, repercussions and stages of families from seven immigrant groups, which we consider to be the most representative of the conditions of ‘being immigrant’ among new South American families. We begin with a review of broader studies on the theme of South American global families, followed by an overview of the current status of research approaches, providing a thematic and theoretical overview of the challenges inherent in this field. Next, we present the particularities of the families of Cubans, Haitians, Senegalese, Syrians, Bengalis and Filipinos, Bolivians and Venezuelans who have chosen, or have been induced, to migrate to South America. We then note the most recent publications on this subject, highlighting the work of South American authors, including works in Spanish and Portuguese that are little-known to English-speaking audiences, which brings to the fore family, demographic and migratory studies for researchers elsewhere. We conclude with a future research agenda to identify gaps in scholarship. The chapter concludes by emphasizing the basis of our central argument: that although South America is receiving and hosting new global families every day, the practices of state and resident civil society are still old.

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