Transnational caregiving in turbulent times: Polish migrants in Iceland and their elderly parents in Poland

Łukasz Krzyzowski, Janusz Mucha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The culturally determined necessity of the personal fulfilment of children's obligations to care for older parents, including personal care and practical household help, is a long-lasting element of the Polish normative system, strengthened by the weakness of the institutional support system. In the situation of migration the obligations (and the methods by which they can be realized) are modified but do not disappear. What become necessary are new types of social practices. The aim of this article is to analyse intergenerational caregiving and family remittance flows in transnational social space. The authors use the case study of working-class migrants in Iceland and their elderly parents in Poland to explore how remittances function in the later life stage of the transnational family. The main thesis is that in transnational social space taking care of elderly parents (mostly by women) in person in Poland is transformed into remittances (mostly sent by migrating women). The authors also discuss the impact of the economic crisis on transnational families, which in the present case had strongly hit Iceland but has (for the time being) bypassed Poland. The authors use quantitative and qualitative data collected during field research in Iceland and Poland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-37
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Sociology
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

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