Making the most of migration location:Brussels date:23 May 2014
In an era characterized by globalization and super-diversity, transmigrancy has been identified as a new form of migration, comprising an increasing complexity in migration trajectories, a temporality of stays and a more frequent moving across borders than ever before. Transmigrants differ from ‘traditional’ migrants who stop shifting boundaries after a while, but are characterized by a ‘lived condition of straddling borders, whether by choice or by necessity’ (Hunter e.a. 2010) and engage in transnational social fields that link multiple locations.
In addition to the traditional problems migrants are faced with, transmigrants may experience increased vulnerabilities related to their mobile lifestyle, such as difficulties arising from precarious residence statuses, but also a lack of strong support networks in their new place of residence. Nevertheless, transmigrancy may also offer opportunities, as transmigrants’ engagement in social and familial networks that transcend boundaries may form an important source of social capital.
This paper presents a research among Moroccan, Brazilian and Ghanese immigrants in the super diverse Belgian cities of Brussels and Antwerp. We explore how transmigrants use their transnational social networks to their benefit, and examine how transmigrancy may be experienced by them either as a challenge or as an opportunity.