Migrants Remittances and the Family

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 9:15 AM
Room: F202
Oral Presentation
Hasan MAHMUD , Sociology, University of Sociology, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Abstract: Contrary to the perception of the relationship between the individual and the family as a structure, this paper offers a conceptualization of this relationship as a process whereby individuals selectively identify with various available forms of family. It builds on 30 in-depth and unstructured interviews, complemented by ethnographic participations, with the Bangladeshi immigrants in Los Angeles. Conceiving migrants’ remitting as a socially motivated economic act whereby the migrants invest both financial and emotional resources to maintain and further develop social relationships, it recognizes migrants’ relationships to their family in Bangladesh as central to their remitting practices.  It recognizes multiple forms of family and community organizations to which the immigrants simultaneously identify themselves. However, it finds this identification as a process whereby the immigrants choose to attach to certain forms among a range of culturally defined social aggregates, which causes their remitting to be selective. Emphasizing the immigrants’ emotional involvement and collective orientation, this study recognizes the mingling of the immigrants’ self with the recipients in their origin country as essential in remitting. Thus, this paper makes significant contribution to the study of migrants’ family by adding a relational approach that identifies fluidity in the individuals' identification to the family through migration and remitting.