Transnational Bonding: Social Ties and Resources Among Filipino Families

Friday, 20 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Sanna SAKSELA-BERGHOLM, Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, Finland
This paper discusses the significance of social resources in the lives of both Filipino labor migrants in Finland and their family members in the Philippines. Social resources are framed in terms of social networks and ties providing both social and economic support for the families. These resources can encompass the exchange of information, guidance and emotional support, for example. The paper illustrates how different kinds of resources are interwoven in the migrants’ networks. Furthermore, it shows how and by whom these resources are transformed into useful forms of capital or remain as constraints in the actors’ lives. By taking the actors in both the sending and receiving states into account, it is possible to obtain a clearer picture of how resources, networks and forms of capital shape the migrants’ settlement into their new surroundings without forgetting those in the home country. The paper argues that transnational activities work as supportive, bonding resources particularly during the early settlement period for the migrants and the ones left behind. However, the significance of the informal social support cannot be fully grasped without taking into consideration the formal social protection, such as the social security systems of both countries.