The study of global families has increased significantly over the past decade. In this chapter, we review the literature on global families from its earliest beginnings in the 1980s to the present day, with a specific focus on migration, expatriation and other forms of international mobility. We provide an extensive review of several key topics that have remained consistent over the years, among them the changing nature of the global family and trends in global family movements. Perhaps for the first time, we present three conceptual characteristics that are important in identifying what ‘counts’ as a global family for the purposes of scholarly research and future theorising. We also discuss members of the global family and the roles they play in family mobility, including leading expatriates, lead migrants, global breadwinners in transnational families (also referred to as low-status expatriates and migrant workers), trailing spouses, stay-behind families, and children including third culture kids, cross-cultural kids and global nomads. We conclude with a brief discussion of global families in dangerous locations and the displacement of families due to crises and look at some critical foundational elements of the study of global families.

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