'This is my home' Pakistani and Polish Migrants’ Return Considerations as Articulations About ‘Home’

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Erdal, Marta Bivand (2014) 'This is my home' Pakistani and Polish Migrants’ Return Considerations as Articulations About ‘Home’, Comparative Migration Studies 2(3): 361–384.

​Considerations about return are a persistent dimension of identity work in
migrant populations. The question of where and what constitutes ‘home’ for
migrants is central to understanding processes of integration, sustained
transnational ties, and return considerations, because reflections about
‘home’ are reflective of belonging. Based on analysis of migrants’ and
descendants reflections about the possibility of return migration, this paper
asks: how is ‘home’ located in the transnational social field, and in which ways
do the mutually overlapping spatial, temporal, emotional and rational dimensions
of home matter? The paper draws on semi-structured interviews and
focus groups with a total of 75 migrants and descendants from Pakistan and
Poland living in Norway. Data from the two migrant groups with distinct
migration histories are combined. Perhaps surprisingly, more similarities than
differences are found between the two groups, with regard to their reflections
about belonging. Considerations about return are found to be revealing of
changing perspectives on home. For many there is an inherent ambivalence,
reflected in home being located here, or there, or both, or neither. However,
both migrants’ and descendants exert agency in their own ways of locating
‘home’ and managing the spatial, temporal, emotional and rational dimensions
involved

Comparative Migration Studies