• The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway, Room 2.26, Social Sciences Building, Perth campus

    6009 Perth


  • 1278 Citations
  • 18 h-Index
1992 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Loretta Baldassar is Professor in the Discipline Group of Anthropology and Sociology at UWA and an Adjunct Principal Research Fellow at Monash University. Her research and teaching areas include migration, transnational families and Australian society. Loretta initiated migration studies in Anthropology when she became a staff member in 1995. Since then she has contributed to the development of this research and teaching into a core area of expertise at UWA through several initiatives. These include co-founding the Migration, Mobilities and Belonging MoB Network and the WA Migration Research Network (MRN), as well as the funding and appointment of a Cassamarca Lectureship in Italian migration studies, an ARC Linkage Postdoctoral Fellowship on Italian migration in WA and an EU Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship on Transnational Families. Loretta has supervised a steady stream of postgraduate research students working on migration related topics. She is currently working on two ARC Discovery projects: Ageing and New Media and Mobile Transitions.

Roles and responsibilities

Editorial Board Member, Regional Editor for Australasia, Journal of Global Networks

Board Member, Research Committee 31, Sociology of Migration, International Sociological Association.

2014-2016, Discipline Chair, Anthropology and Sociology, UWA

2009-2011, Director, Monash University Prato Centre.

2007–2009 co-convener Migration, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism Thematic Group of The Australian Sociological Association.

2005–2009 Chair, Australasian Centre for Italian Studies.

2007– Chair, UWA Press Board.

Future research

My main area of research is in transnational migration studies, with a particular focus on Italian migration to Australia. I also conduct research on so-called 'second generation' migrants and consider issues of intergenerational conflict and the transmission of culture. Recently, I have begun to research and write about second generation Chinese migrants in Prato, Italy. I am also currently conducting a research project called Intercultural Learning at Home (ILH), which is about promoting internationalisation on campus.
Previous Research
In 2000 I began an ARC funded project together with Professor Cora Baldock (Sociology, Murdoch University) and Dr Raelene Wilding (La Trobe) that examines the impact of transnational migration on care-giving relations between adult children and their parents. The specific question addressed in the study is the extent to which transnational migrants are able to give care and support to their geographically distant parents as they age. The study examines humanitarian, family reunion and business migrants and draws case study examples from migrants and their families in Singapore, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand and refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families in Iran.

In 2004 I led an ARC Linkage Project, Vite Italiane, which examined the history of Italian migration to Western Australia and resulted in the development of an Italian migration archive at the Battye Library as well as a website: http://www.italianlives.arts.uwa.edu.au/.

In 2008 I joined an interdisciplinary research team to examine the ‘Australian Diaspora’ on an ARC Linkage Grant, with a particular focus on Italy-Australia relations, including the recent ‘new immigration’ and 457 working-holiday visa-entrants of young Italian professionals to Australia. This research built on my previous work on transnational family relationships, with a particular focus on the role of ICTs.

Funding overview

Awarded grants in progress
• 2017-2021 ARC DP, Understanding the Effects of Transnational Mobility on Youth Transitions, Harris, A., (Deakin), Baldassar, L., (UWA), Robertson, S. (UWS) (2017-2021).
• 2016-2018 ARC Discovery Project, Ageing and New Media; Baldassar and Wilding.

Previous positions

Director, Monash Univeristy Prato Centre 2009-2011

Teaching overview

Teaching in units on migration, refugees, Australian society and social inequality. Research interests include migration studies, ethnicity, second generation migrant identities, diaspora studies, Australian settler societies, multiculturalism, citizenship, Italy/the anthropology of Mediterranean societies, cross-cultural health care.


- 2013 Keynote ‘Mobilities as a new paradigm for understanding family life: issues and challenges’ Family Life in the Age of Migration and Mobility: Theory, Policy and Practice. Convenors: Prof. Helma Lutz, Dr Majella Kilkey & Dr Ewa Palenga-Möllenbeck, 16-20 September 2013 Norrköping, Sweden
- 2013 Invited Paper ‘British Migration to Australia’, Migration and Economic Crisis: Responses of Brits at home and abroad, WUN University and White Rose Collaboration Networks, Sheffield University, September 2013.
1. 2013 Invited Paper, ‘Second Generation in Prato and Perth: the politics of recognising difference’, Migration and Multiculturalism: Lessons from Europe and Australia Conference ANU Centre for European Studies (ANUCES), Friday 8 March, 2013 Conveners: Jacqueline Lo and Stefan Markowski
2. 2012 Invited Paper, Second generation Chinese in Italy, 3rd Wenzhouese Diaspora Workshop, University of Wenzhou, 17-18 October, Wenzhou, China.
3. 2012 Keynote, European Science Foundation Exploratory Workshop, Rethinking Older Age: Transnational Migration, Home and Cultures of Care, Standing Committee for Social Sciences, Department of Social Research and Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki. Co-sponsored by Academy of Finland Project ‘The Shaping of Occupational Subjectivities of Migrant Care Workers: A Multi-Sited Analysis of Glocalising Elderly Care’, August 23-34, Helsinki
4. 2012 Invited Paper, Law in the Everyday Lives of Transnational Families, International Institute for the Sociology of Law, May 24-25, Onati, Spain.
5. 2011, Keynote, International Workshop: The Everyday Life of Multi-Local Families Concepts, Methods and the Example of Post-Separation Families, German Youth Institute/ Deutsches Jugendinstitut, Munich, 20th-21st October, Germany.
6. 2011, Keynote, Università degli Studi di Cassino, Dipartimento di Filologia e Storia Convegno: L’emigrazione italiana in 150 anni di storia unitaria (titolo provvisorio), 13-14 October, Cassino, Italy.
7. 2011, Keynote, (Re-)Imagining ‘Return Migration’: Language, concepts and contexts, Sponsored by the Population Geography Research Group of the RGS-IBG. 1st CFP RGS-IBG Annual Conference, 31 August – 2 September, London.
8. 2010, Keynote, ‘Transnational families, care-giving and the intergenerational contract’ International seminar, Transnationalism from below: Migrant families and intergenerational, ICS, University of Lisbon, 13th October, Portugal.
9. 2010, Keynote, ‘Transnationalism and the Second Generation’, Diasporic and Transnational Youth Identities Seminar Series, University of Nottingham, 24 September, UK.
10. 2010, Keynote, ‘Transnational Families and the Future of Transnational Care’, Changing Families in a Changing World, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, John Macintyre Centre, University of Edinburgh, June 16-18, Scotland.
11. 2010, Lectio Magistralis, ‘Transnational Families:Definizioni e metodolgie’, Scuola Estiva di Sociologia delle Migrazioni, Genova, June 14 – 18, Italy.
12. 2010, Invited Paper, ‘Transnational Families and Care-Giving: six Study Areas’, 1st International Symposium on Wenzhouese Diasporas and the 3rd Chinese in Prato Workshop –“Diasporas Workshop: Setting a Research Agenda” Wenzhou University, 7 – 11 April, China.
13. 2009, Invited Paper, ‘Longing for kin and country: family, nostalgia and nation through the practices and processes of long distance caregiving’, Love and its Histories: Italian Perspectives, Symposium Department of History, University of Otago and The Australasian Centre for Italian Studies, University of Otago’s Auckland Centre, February 17th, New Zealand.


Loretta is currently working on two Australia Research Council Discovery Projects.
Ageing and New Media: A New Analysis of Older Australians’ Support Networks in collaboration with Raelene Wilding (Sociology, Social Inquiry, La Trobe University). This three-year project (2016-2018) examines how support networks for older people are affected by their mobility and the dispersal of their family, friends and care services. The project aim is to highlight the current and potential role that new media might play in fostering local, distant and virtual support networks of older Australians. This will help to update both aged care policy and service delivery. The research uses participant observation and ethnographic life history interviews to compare experiences of diverse older migrants and non-migrants in both urban and regional locations, at home and in institutional care. Access to social networks and a capacity to belong and engage with other people is now understood as a significant indicator of healthy ageing. Importantly, the increasing uptake of new communication technologies means that social activities, social interactions and a sense of belonging are no longer limited to local, proximate networks and communities. What remains unknown, and will be addressed by this project, is the role of distant and virtual support networks in the lives of older Australians, and the potential and actual role of new media in older people’s experiences and uses of effective support networks.
Mobile Transitions: Understanding the Effects of Transnational Mobility on Youth Transitions in collaboration with Anita Harris (Deakin) and Shanthi Robertson (UWS). Young people increasingly migrate abroad for work and education and Australia is a significant hub for sending and receiving. Much of this mobility is encouraged by current migration and education policies and is expected to provide youth with enhanced competitive skills. This project examines transnational mobility amongst young people moving both in and out of Australia in order to understand its actual effects on their economic opportunities, social and familial ties, capacity for citizenship and transitions to adulthood. It charts how youth from various cultural backgrounds productively manage mobility and develop economic, social and civic benefits – for themselves and the broader community.



Research expertise keywords

  • Ageing
  • Australian settler society
  • Ethnicity, race relations, migration and second generation
  • Social uses of new technologies
  • Transnationalism, transnational families
  • Women, gender, sexuality

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Research Output

Embracing cultural diversity – leadership perspectives on championing meaningful engagement for residents living with advanced dementia

Du Toit, S., Baldassar, L., Raber, C., Millard, A., Etherton-Beer, C., Buchanan, H., Du Toit, D., Collier, L., Cheung, G., Peri, K., Webb, E. & Lovarini, M., 20 Dec 2019, In : Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    The best day of the week: New technology enhancing quality of life in a care home

    Juul, A., Wilding, R. & Baldassar, L., 2 Mar 2019, In : International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 16, 6, 17 p., 1000.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Ageing, migration and new media: The significance of transnational care

    Wilding, R. & Baldassar, L., 1 Jun 2018, In : Journal of Sociology. 54, 2, p. 226-235 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 13 Citations (Scopus)
    565 Downloads (Pure)