"Unpacking the Ageing-Migration Nexus"

Keynote Lecture

  • Date: Oct 23, 2018
  • Time: 10:00 - 11:15
  • Speaker: Russell King (University of Sussex)
  • Russell King is Professor of Geography at the University of Sussex, where he founded and directed the Sussex Centre for Migration Research. During 2012-13 he was Willy Brandt Guest Professor in Migration Studies at Malmö University. He has long-standing and wide- ranging research interests in the interdisciplinary field of migration studies, including theorizing migration in its various forms, and empirical studies on labour migration, international retirement migration, student migration, return migration, diasporas, and the relationship between migration and development. Most of his field research has been carried out in Southern Europe and the Balkans. Amongst his recent books have been Counter- Diaspora: The Greek Second Generation Returns ‘Home’ (Harvard University Press, 2015, joint with Anastasia Christou), Remittances, Gender and Development (I.B. Tauris, 2011, joint with Julie Vullnetari), and Out of Albania (Berghahn, 2008, joint with Nicola Mai). From 2000 to 2013 he was the editor of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
  • Location: MPI-MMG, Hermann-Föge-Weg 11, Göttingen
  • Room: Library Hall
"Unpacking the Ageing-Migration Nexus"

For more details please contact menster(at)mmg.mpg.de.

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Following the popularity of ‘nexus thinking’ pioneered by the migration–development nexus, this lecture will propose the ageing–migration nexus as a useful heuristic concept for exploring the multiple interrelations between two key socio-demographic processes reshaping the contemporary population map of Europe. Whilst the macro-trajectory of ageing can be confidently predicted on the basis of stable demographic variables, migration trends are less easy to forecast, due to various potentially volatile political and economic factors; yet it is difficult to imagine a European and global future in which migration will not continue to play a key role. Drawing in part on the author’s own research, most of it joint with others, this lecture will unpack the ageing–migration nexus, identifying seven major intersections: older people ‘left behind’ by migration; international retirement migrants; older parents who follow their already-migrated children abroad; labour migrants who ‘age in place’; older people who move abroad as labour migrants; labour migrants who return-migrate after retirement; and ageing non-migrants who generate inflows of migrants as old-age carers. Throughout these typologies, I stress the flexible and fluid nature of ‘old age’ and challenge the social construction of older people, migrants or not, as vulnerable and dependent: whilst some undoubtedly are, many are not. In the final segment of the lecture, I present some key findings from recent and current research on two contrasting exemplifications of the ageing–migration nexus: Albanian ‘orphan pensioners’ and ‘migrating grandparents’; and British retirees who relocate to the ‘paradise’ of central Italy.

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