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TitleLiving Apart Together Across Borders
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size2.8 MB
Total Pages219
Table of Contents
                            Table of contents
	1 Introduction: families living apart together across borders
		1.1 Introduction
		1.2 Societal relevance and scientific contributions
		1.3 Overview of the thesis
	2 Migration and the family: an overview of previous studies
		2.1 Introduction
		2.2 A transnational perspective
		2.3 Migration & family life
		2.4 A life course approach
		2.5 Sending and receiving country contexts
		2.6 Concluding remarks
	3 Data & methods
		3.1 Introduction
		3.2 The MAFE project
		3.3 The MAFE-Ghana survey
		3.4 Reflections on the data
		3.5 Sociodemographic characteristics of the MAFE-Ghana samples
		3.6 Data analysis
	4 Transnational families between Ghana, the Netherlands and the UK
		4.1 Introduction
		4.2 Literature review
		4.3 Ghanaian households & their migrant family members
		4.4 Family life: Ghanaian migrants in Europe
		4.5 Transnational families and reunification
		4.6 Conclusion & discussion
	5 Relational trajectories and living arrangements among Ghanaians: the role of international migration
		5.1 Introduction
		5.2 Relationships & migration in Ghana
		5.3 Living apart together across borders
		5.4 Relational trajectories: a life course approach
		5.5 Data & methods
		5.6 Findings
		5.7 Conclusion & discussion
	6 Transnational marriages and reunification: Ghanaian couples between Ghana and Europe
		6.1 Introduction
		6.2 The sending country context
		6.3 Living apart together across borders
		6.4 The receiving context
		6.5 Ghanaian migration
		6.6 Data & methods
		6.7 Findings
		6.8 Discussion
	7 Does international migration lead to divorce? Ghanaian couples in Ghana and abroad
		7.1 Introduction
		7.2 Theoretical framework
		7.3 Data & methods
		7.4 Findings
		7.5 Discussion
	8 Conclusions
		8.1 Introduction
		8.2 Findings and implications for the study of transnational families
		8.3 Ideas for future research
	References
	Appendices
		Appendix A. Living arrangements of Ghanaian migrants in Europe
		Appendix B. Estimating the probability of reunification in the receiving country
		Appendix C. Time to divorce (Kaplan-Meier estimates)
	Nederlandse samenvatting
	Valorisation addendum
	About the author
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Kim Caarls

Page 2

© Kim Caarls, 2015

Cover design & layout Plan C • planc.nl
Printed by Datawyse • Universitaire Pers Maastricht

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Table 5.1. Overview of independent variables

Full sample Non-migrants
Migrants

Migrants

Variables Categories N % n % n %

Migration
experience* No 495 57.03

Yes 373 42.97
Sex Men 413 47.58 194 39.19 219 58.71

Women 455 52.42 301 60.81 154 41.29
Highest level
of education
attained* <=Secondary 634 73.04 404 81.62 230 61.66

Tertiary 234 26.96 91 18.38 143 38.34
Akan No 324 37.33 200 40.40 124 33.24

Yes 516 59.45 274 55.35 242 64.88
Missing 28 3.23 21 4.24 7 1.88

Cohort 2 <=1950 105 12.1 72 14.55 33 8.85
1951-1960 248 28.57 126 25.45 122 32.71
>=1961 515 59.33 297 60.00 218 58.45

Survey country Ghana 620 71.43 466 94.14 154 41.29
Netherlands 165 19.01 21 4.24 144 38.61
UK 83 9.56 8 1.62 75 20.11

Continuous variables

Variable Range Mean (s.d.) Range Mean (s.d.) Range Mean (s.d.)

Number of children* 0-8 2.21 (1.53) 0-8 2.45 (1.55) 0-8 1.89 (1.44)
Subjective wealth status** 0-15 12.29 (3.63) 0-15 12.73 (3.60) 0-15 11.72 (3.60)
Economically active** 0-15 9.33 (6.09) 0-15 8.60 (6.55) 0-15 10.29 (5.28)

Source: MAFE-Ghana data, 2009-2010
Notes: * Referring to the period of observation, i.e., between 21 - 35 years of age ** Referring to the number of years the respondents
have experienced episodes of being satisfied with their financial situation/being economically active.

Subjective wealth status captured retrospective information about the subjective wealth
status of the respondent for each year. It is difficult to reliably capture respondents’
objective income with a retrospective survey; therefore, we use the respondents’ replies
concerning their subjective wealth status. The following question was asked: ‘Would you
say that during this period you had enough to live on?’ This question resulted in three
response categories: 1 = absolutely, 2 = it depended, and 3 = not at all. For our multinomial
analyses, we recorded the number of years that the respondent indicated to be absolutely
satisfied between ages 21 and 35, thus creating a continuous variable where higher scores
indicate more periods of being financially satisfied. In a similar vein, we created the
variable economically active, which refers to the number of years that the respondent was
economically active. To further examine the role of gender and to analyse the gendered

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nature of migration, we included an interaction term between gender and migration
experience.

5.6 Findings
Using respondents’ retrospective information for a 15-year period, starting from when
they were 21 years of age, we measured transitions on a yearly basis. Because each
trajectory consists of 15 states, we could theoretically identify 615 different trajectories.
We identified 480 different sequences in our sample, and 384 (44.2%) are distinct
sequences. Next, we examined the diversity of states in our sample at each given age. We
compare these transversal state distributions between migrants and non-migrants, men
and women, and a combination of migration experience and gender.
We examined the sequencing of states by looking at the most common trajectories
for migrants and non-migrants (Table 5.2). Both migrants and non-migrants moved most
often from a single status to a non-residential marriage, although this trajectory occurred
more frequently among migrants (S-MA, 25.4% for migrants and 18.8% for non-migrants).
The second most popular trajectory for non-migrants was to already be married and
living apart at age 21 and remaining so at least until age 35 (MA, 15.8%). Migrants, on the
other hand, were more likely to move from being single to a co-residential marriage and
then to a non-residential marriage (S-MT-MA, 23.2%). This result indicates that migrants
on average entered into marriage at a later age compared with non-migrants. It also
shows that for a large share of migrants, a co-residential marriage was followed by a
non-residential marriage. This pattern also occurred among non-migrants, although to
a much lesser extent (15.2%). The prevalence of non-residential marriages among both
migrants and non-migrants exemplifies that this type of arrangement is not necessarily
the outcome of international migration. In terms of the 10 most common trajectories,
migrants were also more often engaged in unmarried unions: 17.3% compared with
11.4% for non-migrants.

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About
the author
Kim Caarls (Veghel, 1979) completed her Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology
and Development Studies at the Radboud University Nijmegen. Her research interests
were sparked during her fieldwork in Ghana, which inspired her to enroll in the Research
Master Social and Cultural Sciences at the same university. For her Master thesis, she
carried out fieldwork in Rwanda about the role of the Rwandan migrant community
on the process of reconciliation. Having completed the Research Master (cum laude),
her growing interest in migration research brought her to Maastricht University, where
she started as a PhD researcher in September 2009. Her PhD research was part of the
‘Migration between Africa and Europe’ (MAFE) project, which is a large international
research program in which data are collected in three African sending countries and
six major European receiving countries. Concentrating on the case of Ghana, Kim’s
PhD research provided insight into the role of international migration in how Ghanaian
families form, transform or dissolve. Kim currently works as a postdoctoral researcher
at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), where she is part of
the ‘Families of migrant origin – a life course perspective’ (FaMiLife) project. Here, she
continues to investigate the role of international migration on the lives of migrants and
their families, emphasizing the need for a sending and receiving country perspective in
order to fully understand the functioning of family life across borders.

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This thesis provides insight into the role
of international migration in how Ghanaian
couples form, transform or dissolve.
It investigates if, when and where families
live geographically separate from each
other and if, when and where they reunify.
Employing a transnational approach,
this dissertation incorporated the notion
that migrants are embedded in multiple
contexts. This means that: 1) the contexts
of the sending and receiving countries are
taken into account, 2) couples that did not
migrate are included, and 3) the fi ndings are
contextualized by considering the cultural
and familial norms of the sending country.

This thesis demonstrates that the sending
country context as well as the receiving
country context aff ects the way in which
families live transnationally or reunify.
Comparing migrants and non-migrants
showed that international migration shapes
the transnational family, and it also reveals
that some types of living arrangements
are related to socio-cultural practices in
the sending country, which emphasizes
the importance of taking the sending
country context into account when studying
processes related to international migration.
At the same time, restrictive policies and
diff erent normative contexts in receiving
countries also infl uence the formation and
transformation of transnational family life.

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