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Transnational pendulum and return migration strategies of Moroccan migrants: investments, intra-household tensions and conflicts

Hein De Haas, Oxford University
Tineke Fokkema, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Mohamed Fassi Fihri

While mainstream theories tend to portray international migration as the outcome of household decisions, this reifies the household as a unit which takes unanimous decisions. This may mask intra-household gender and age inequalities. Within this perspective, this paper examines the transnational residential strategies of international migrant households in Morocco by analysing survey data collected on return migration by CERED (N=1,467) and own survey (N=507) and interview (N=50) data collected in the Todgha valley. The analysis reveals that migration can be a source of intra-household conflict and tension. Ageing migrants who decided to return regularly regret their choice, while many children are full of resentment towards their fathers for blocking their migration to Europe. Partly in response to such disappointing experiences, more and more migrants adopt a pendular migration strategy to reconcile their interest in maintaining ties with Morocco with the reluctance of children and spouses to return.

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Presented in Session 152: International migration and transnational families and households