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Why they left home again: Understanding repeat migration to the United States

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While sociologists of immigration have examined the mechanisms of both circulatory and return migration, there has been relatively little discussion of repeat migration. Repeat migration refers to a small, but significant segment of immigrants who made the decision to permanently migrate back to the adopted country, after attempts to resettle back in the home society failed. Drawing on in-depth interviews with highly skilled Indian repeat migrants in the United States, we attempt to fill this gap. Although these migrants possessed the economic, legal and cultural capacity to reintegrate back to their home society, our findings revealed that the value of these forms of capital was diminished upon going back home. In chronicling their labour market, cultural and emotional challenges, we also demonstrate the limits of transnational and return migration frameworks for explaining the phenomena of repeat migration.
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Keywords: Asian; Asian Indian; highly skilled migration; repeat migration; transnationalism; transtional migration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Publication date: October 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Transient migration due to the global movements of people for work, study and lifestyle is part of everyday life. This journal thus aims to provide a platform that explores and investigates the complexities of transient migration and to map the experiences of the growing number of transient migrants as they engage and interact with communities that are linked both to their home and host nations. This journal seeks to look at the ways in which transient migrants cope with transience and how transient migration affects individuals and communities in this transitional yet significant period. The scope of the journal will include but not be limited to themes of belonging, identity, networks, nation, culture, religion, race and ethnicity, gender and memory while incorporating the roles played by various platforms to facilitate these themes such as media, politics, policy, economy and the creative industries.
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