'Where are you from' or 'when did you come'? Temporal dimensions in migrants' reflections about settlement and return

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Rojan Tordhol Ezzati (2015) 'Where are you from' or 'when did you come'? Temporal dimensions in migrants' reflections about settlement and return, Ethnic and Racial Studies 38(7): 1202–1217.

​In this article we explore the added value of foregrounding temporal dimensions in migration research. Age at the time of migration, length of stay in the country of settlement and individual life-cycle stages matter for migrants' settlement and return considerations. However, these factors are rarely put centre stage in analyses. We draw on data from sixty-seven informants with different country backgrounds, who had either immigrated recently, arrived as children, or were born in Norway. We find that the implications of temporal dimensions cut across national and ethnic backgrounds. Age at the time of migration and the relative proportion of life spent in the origin and in the settlement country play an important role in migrants' considerations about settlement and return; as does being single, a parent with small children, or retired. An approach foregrounding temporal dimensions thus reveals the changeability of considerations over time and highlights similarities and differences beyond ethnicity.

Authors

Marta Bivand Erdal

Marta Bivand Erdal

Senior Researcher

Rojan Tordhol Ezzati

Rojan Tordhol Ezzati

Doctoral Researcher

Research Groups