Accepted paper:

'I couldn't attend my mother's funeral and now I have to live with that': Exploring the interplay between migration, ageing and home

Authors:

Luis Eduardo Perez Murcia (University of Trento)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores whether and how migration shapes the experiences of home of those on the move and the elderly members of their families left behind in their countries of origin.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores whether and how migration shapes the experiences of home of those on the move and the elderly members of their families left behind in their countries of origin. Drawing on ethnographic research with transnational Ecuadorian and Peruvian migrants in Manchester, London and Madrid and the elder members of their families back in Ecuador and Peru, the paper argues that migration mutually shapes ideas and attitudes towards home of those who migrate and those who are left behind. An in-depth analysis of the empirical material reveals that many of those elderly left behind struggle to feel at home largely because they experience isolation and even abandonment. Their struggles for home tend to be accentuated when they perceived that the end of their lives is approaching. On the side of those who migrate, attitudes towards home are often shaped by the sense of not being able to look after the elder members of their families left behind or even visiting them. Those who could not attend their parents and grandparents' funerals tend to see their sense of home irreversibly affected. The paper ends by discussing how a material and symbolic notion of home may help to advance contemporary debates on ageing and migration.

panel P017
Spaces of Ageing - New Horizons of Mobility and Materiality in Later Life [Age and Generations Network]