The networked character of migration and transnationalism

TitleThe networked character of migration and transnationalism
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsBilecen, B, Lubbers, MJ
JournalGlobal Networks. A Journal of Transnational Affairs

Acknowledgement of the prominent role of social networks in migration studies marked a significant departure from earlier studies, suggesting that social networks determine migration decisions, trajectories, and outcomes. While social network analytical tools have not always been used in empirical investigations of migratory phenomena, studies on migration that use relational approaches also show an inherent network thinking. In this paper, we review the state of the art of the literature on migration and social networks, highlighting the advances made by empirical research using network thinking, particularly in different stages of migration and for operationalizing transnational phenomena related to migration. Based on this review, we detect the role of networks in different stages of migration, and we reflect on the remaining challenges for future research regarding the role of social networks within migration scholarship.

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