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An Intergenerational Perspective on (Re)migration: Return and Onward Mobility Intentions across Immigrant Generations

Abstract : This article compares the prevalence and determinants of international mobility intentions across immigrant generations (G1, G1.5, G2, and G2.5), using French survey data. Two types of migration intentions are analyzed: (a) return to the (parents’) origin country and (b) onward migration to a third country. Results highlight migration intentions’ intergenerational variation and underlying logics. The probability to state return intentions is larger for G1 yet surprisingly similar to the stated return intentions for G2. By contrast, G2.5 (one immigrant and one French native parent) stand out as they are primarily characterized by onward migration intentions and are significantly less likely to consider “returning” to their sole immigrant parents’ origin country. Echoing the conceptual framework of “reactive transnationalism” or “reactive ethnicity,” the specific determinant of G2 return intentions appears to be their perception of discrimination. These findings show the value of (a) disaggregating the traditional first versus second generation dichotomy to understand the complexity of migration intentions and (b) including countries other than the parental homeland when studying second-generation transnational practices. More broadly, the article contributes to a better understanding of integration mechanisms by using migration intentions not only as proxies for population movements but also as a valuable framework providing empirical insights into immigrants’ personal relationship to both the country of residence and expected destination.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 11, 2022 - 6:38:57 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, February 12, 2022 - 3:46:13 AM

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Louise Caron. An Intergenerational Perspective on (Re)migration: Return and Onward Mobility Intentions across Immigrant Generations. International Migration Review, Wiley, 2019, ⟨10.1177/0197918319885646⟩. ⟨hal-03567011⟩

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