Book Chapter

Deferring the inevitable return 'home': Temporality and contingency in the transnational home-making practices of older Kenyan migrant women in London

Published 3 July 2015 / By COMPAS Communications

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Older Kenyan women’s migration to London is often narrativised as a temporary, though necessary, means of pursuing valued lives back ‘home’ such that their return to Kenya is seen as inevitable. Here, I focus on two intertwining questions that preoccupy these women: how will they support themselves when they return and to whom will they return? In doing so, I argue that their return is contingent on the (re-)making of familial relations and, thus, ‘home’. Their continuous preparations to return give rise to contradictory temporal experiences of delaying and biding time, and results in deferring the inevitable.


Fesenmyer, L. (2016) ‘Deferring the Inevitable Return "Home": Temporality and Contingency in the Transnational Home-Making Practices of Older Kenyan Migrant Women in London’, in Walsh, K and Näre, L. (eds.) Transnational Migration and Home in Older Age, London, New York: Routledge