Timespace and International Migration
Show Less

Timespace and International Migration

Edited by Elizabeth Mavroudi, Ben Page and Anastasia Christou

Furthering understanding of the temporalities and spatialities of how people move across international boundaries, this book analyses how timespace intersects with migrant journeys as an integral aspect of the rhythms of daily lives. Individual chapters engage with these concepts by analysing a broad spectrum of migrations and mobilities, from youth mobility, to refugee migration, to gentrification, to food and to the political geography of the border.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 8: Timespaces of return migration: the interplay of everyday practices and imaginaries of return in transnational social fields

Marta Bivand Erdal


In what ways do some everyday experiences shape the way in which return migration is imagined? In this chapter Marta Bivand Erdal answers this question by drawing on her research into transnational lives and return migration between Norway and Poland/Pakistan. The analysis is framed around a strong conceptual distinction between ‘imagined return’ and the ‘everyday experience of transnationalism’, but it also sets out to show how these two registers are co-produced. In this chapter the idea of ‘timespace’ becomes a tool for elucidating the different meanings of ‘return migration’ for different people. Erdal draws out the profoundly different experiences for those of different generations, genders or ethnicities in order to break down the apparent unity of the idea of the imagined return. The chapter has four empirical sections that emphasize the diversity and dynamism of return. They show: (1) how the way time is imagined in relation to return can change as a result of an individual’s life experience; (2) how imagination and experience come together in the social construction of different timespaces of return; (3) how timespaces can be represented in different ways by migrants in their stories of return; and (4) how the experience of return is profoundly different for migrants’ descendants when compared to the first generation. The chapter shows not only how the timespace perspective foregrounds the inherent diversity and intertwining of temporalities and spatialities in return migration, but also how the meanings of return are always produced in relation to experience and imagination. Keywords: return migration, everyday experience, imagined spaces, Norway, Poland, Pakistan

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.