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THEMIS: American migrants in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom: diversity of migration motivations and patterns

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Duration: 0:15:02 | Added: 20 Jan 2014
Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels presents her paper 'American migrants in France, Germany, and the UK' in Parallel session II(D) of the conference Examining Migration Dynamics: Networks and Beyond, 24-26 Sept 2013

Migration between two countries, or localities within those countries, is usually examined only uni-directionally (although return migration may, often in a context of transnationalism, be taken into account). Examining the less-studied half of such a migration dyad can help us to understand more clearly the ways in which migration feedback processes function. This paper considers the case of Americans in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, three key receiving countries for American migrants (estimated at 2.2 to 6.8 million worldwide), and will examine the role of networks and interactions, broadly defined, which have played a role in leading these Americans to migrate. To do so, it will draw on 115 semi-structured in-depth interviews carried out in London, Paris and Berlin in 2011, as well as upon 450 survey responses from France, Germany and the UK. These data will be analyzed with respect to factors leading to migration, exploring what role a range of interactions and networks have played in migration. These include professional, educational, state-organized and a wide variety of personal networks (including nationals of France, Germany and the UK) - a far broader range than is usually considered. The dualism of temporary vs permanent migration will also be questioned; the paper will suggest that a continuum is more helpful in understanding the nature of migration, and will be drawn upon. This recognition, in turn, has an impact upon the ways in which personal and institutional resources are drawn upon by migrants.

The paper will examine which factors, including networks and/or social interactions, are most significant in each country, whether there are key differences between receiving countries, including historically, and in how far these contribute to strengthening the bi-directionality of these migration systems. The paper will thus contribute to our understanding of migration feedback processes and development of migration systems.

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