Transnational Families: Ethnicities, Identities and Social Capital, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Transnational Families

Ethnicities, Identities and Social Capital, 1st Edition

By Harry Goulbourne, Tracey Reynolds, John Solomos, Elisabetta Zontini


208 pages

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Contemporary Western society is changing and, controversially, migration is often flagged up as one of the reasons why. The nature of population change challenges the conventional understandings of family forms and networks whilst multiculturalism poses challenges to our understanding of social change, families and social capital.

This innovative book provides an overview of the emergence of new understandings of ethnicities, identities and family forms across a number of ethnic groups, family types, and national boundaries. Based on new empirical data from fairly distinct sets of transnational family networks in minority communities with a substantial presence in the United Kingdom – principally, Caribbean and Italian, but also drawing on others such as Indian – it examines their lived experiences and uses the concept of social capital to explore how these families manage to maintain close and meaningful links.

Transnational Families discusses, explains and illustrates the substantial problems and issues confronted by communities and families, academics and policy-makers/implementers, and non-governmental organisations within a transnational world. It will be of interest to students and scholars of migration, transnationalism, families and globalisation.


"Transnational Families offers the reader a rich insight into the lives of Caribbean and Italian migrants, their families and offspring, the challenges they encounter, their negotiations of belonging and return. The book will be of interest to all scholars and students studying transnational migration matters and it serves as a good example of transnational and multi-sited qualitative research and its challenges."— Lena Näre, Nordic Journal of Migration Research

Table of Contents

1.Theorising Transnational Families 2.Social Capital Joins the Trinity: Families, Ethnicities, Communities 3.Methodological Issues and Challenges 4.Migration, Transnational Families and Communities 5.Migrants, Offspring, and Settlement 6.Families, Needs and Caring Practices 7.Continuity and Invention Of Identities Within Families and Communities 8.Problems of Belonging and ‘Return’ 9.Alienation and Escape from the Family and Community 10.Crossing Boundaries: Problems and Opportunities in ‘Mixed’ Families 11.Conclusion: Transnational Families, Policy, and Research Challenges

About the Authors

Harry Goulbourne is Professor of Sociology at London South Bank University, UK. Tracey Reynolds is Senior Research Fellow in the Families & Social Capital Research Group at London South Bank University, UK. John Solomos is Professor of Sociology at City University, UK. Elisabetta Zontini is Lecturer in Sociology at Nottingham University, UK.

About the Series

Relationships and Resources

A key contemporary political and intellectual issue is the link between the relationships that people have and the resources to which they have access.  When people share a sense of identity, hold similar values, trust each other and reciprocally do things for each other, this has an impact on the social, political and economic cohesion of the society in which they live.  So, are changes in contemporary society leading to deterioration in the link between relationships and resources, or new and innovative forms of linking, or merely the reproduction of enduring inequalities? Consideration of relationships and resources raises key theoretical and empirical issues around change and continuity over time as well as time use, the consequences of globalisation and individualisation for intimate and broader social relations, and location and space in terms of communities and neighbourhoods.  The books in this series are concerned with elaborating these issues and form a body of work that will contribute to academic and political debate.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Marriage & Family