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An approach to measuring dispersed families with a particular focus on children 'left behind' by migrant parents: findings from rural South Africa

An approach to measuring dispersed families with a particular focus on children 'left behind' by migrant parents: findings from rural South Africa
An approach to measuring dispersed families with a particular focus on children 'left behind' by migrant parents: findings from rural South Africa
There is growing policy and academic interest in the conditions, experiences, and well-being of migrant families stretched across origin and destination households. In South Africa, the dispersal of children and migrant parents across multiple households is a commonplace childhood experience. However, in common with the broader international context, quantitative analyses of the social and residential connections between children and migrant parents in South Africa have been limited by the lack of available data that document family arrangements from the perspective of more than one household. This paper describes a new data collection effort in the origin and destination households of migrants from rural KwaZulu-Natal and explains the methodology for using this data to examine multiple household contexts for children and parents. In order to illustrate the contribution that this form of data collection effort could make to family migration studies, the paper also presents results on the living arrangements of children ‘left behind’ by migrant parents; a potentially vulnerable group whose arrangements are challenging to examine with existing data sources. The empirical results show the majority (75%) of left behind children have previously migrated and a significant proportion of migrants' children (25%) were not living in their parent's origin or destination household. The findings highlight the need for careful measurement of the circumstances of left behind children and demonstrate the contribution of linked data for providing insights into the residential arrangements of migrants' children.
left behind children, migrant parents, dispersed families, migration measurement issues, south africa
1544-8444
322-334
Bennett, Rachel
53222607-43bd-46d3-9448-1599fd785ac0
Hosegood, Victoria
c59a89d5-5edc-42dd-b282-f44458fd2993
Newell, Marie-Louise
87caf679-14d9-405d-b5b3-e00ae33728e3
McGrath, Nuala
b75c0232-24ec-443f-93a9-69e9e12dc961
Bennett, Rachel
53222607-43bd-46d3-9448-1599fd785ac0
Hosegood, Victoria
c59a89d5-5edc-42dd-b282-f44458fd2993
Newell, Marie-Louise
87caf679-14d9-405d-b5b3-e00ae33728e3
McGrath, Nuala
b75c0232-24ec-443f-93a9-69e9e12dc961

Bennett, Rachel, Hosegood, Victoria, Newell, Marie-Louise and McGrath, Nuala (2015) An approach to measuring dispersed families with a particular focus on children 'left behind' by migrant parents: findings from rural South Africa. Population, Space and Place, 21 (4), 322-334. (doi:10.1002/psp.1843).

Record type: Article

Abstract

There is growing policy and academic interest in the conditions, experiences, and well-being of migrant families stretched across origin and destination households. In South Africa, the dispersal of children and migrant parents across multiple households is a commonplace childhood experience. However, in common with the broader international context, quantitative analyses of the social and residential connections between children and migrant parents in South Africa have been limited by the lack of available data that document family arrangements from the perspective of more than one household. This paper describes a new data collection effort in the origin and destination households of migrants from rural KwaZulu-Natal and explains the methodology for using this data to examine multiple household contexts for children and parents. In order to illustrate the contribution that this form of data collection effort could make to family migration studies, the paper also presents results on the living arrangements of children ‘left behind’ by migrant parents; a potentially vulnerable group whose arrangements are challenging to examine with existing data sources. The empirical results show the majority (75%) of left behind children have previously migrated and a significant proportion of migrants' children (25%) were not living in their parent's origin or destination household. The findings highlight the need for careful measurement of the circumstances of left behind children and demonstrate the contribution of linked data for providing insights into the residential arrangements of migrants' children.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 8 January 2014
Published date: May 2015
Keywords: left behind children, migrant parents, dispersed families, migration measurement issues, south africa
Organisations: Social Sciences, Primary Care & Population Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 354283
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/354283
ISSN: 1544-8444
PURE UUID: ced86960-c125-4756-a931-ed07ddcab19d
ORCID for Victoria Hosegood: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2244-2518
ORCID for Nuala McGrath: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1039-0159

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Jul 2013 10:45
Last modified: 24 May 2019 00:31

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