Book Chapter

Transnational families

Published 28 February 2014 / By COMPAS Communications

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‘Transnational’ families are families who live apart but who create and retain a ‘sense of collective welfare and unity, in short “familyhood,” even across national borders’ (Bryceson and Vuorela 2002). They include transnational couples (for example, migrant spouse/partner and non-migrant spouse/partner), migrant parents and their non-migrant children who remain at ‘home’, and migrants and their elderly non-migrant parents and siblings. They mark the intersection, on the one hand, of individual and familial aspirations and needs, and on the other hand, structural opportunities and constraints. Such families are an inevitable consequence of migration and are hardly a recent phenomenon.


Fesenmyer, L. (2014) 'Transnational families'  in Keith, M. and Anderson, B. (eds.) Migration: The COMPAS Anthology, Oxford: COMPAS