The effect of networks on the selection of migrants and destinations: Moroccans in Galicia (Spain)

Carmen Lamela, Universidade da Coruña
Antía Pérez Caramés, Universidade da Coruña
Belén Fernández Suárez, Universidade da Coruña

Our research aims to explore the strength of the cumulative causation theory in explaining a recent transnational movement to a residual destination within one major nation of immigration. We believe that local or regional levels of analysis might reveal other aspects about migration determinants that get lost at the national level. In this case, we have tried to explain the dynamics of the Moroccan migration that comes to Galicia – a relatively undeveloped region of Spain with a very weak labour market and a severely aged population.The question is whether, in the absence of powerful pull factors, network effects may better explain the observed immigration flows. We seek for answers to these questions by comparing statistical data on inflows and stocks of Moroccan migration at regional and national levels, and by gathering ethnographic evidence that shows how relevant or meaningful are the main concepts and dynamics proposed by network theory.

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Presented in Session 19: Transnational communities, social networks and international migration