The Meanings of Migration, Remittances and Gifts: Views of Honduran Women Who Stay

Global Networks: a Journal of Transnational Affairs, 11 (1): 63-81, 2010

19 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2013

See all articles by Sean McKenzie

Sean McKenzie

Arizona State University (ASU)

Cecilia Menjívar

Department of Sociology

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

In this article we examine the non-economic, emotional meanings that men’s economic migration has for the wives and mothers who stay in two rural communities in Honduras. Combining the literature on economic sociology and on the social meanings of relations within transnational families, we identify three areas that allow us to capture what the men’s migration means for the women who stay – communication between the non-migrant women and migrant men, stress and anxiety in women’s personal lives, and added household responsibilities. Through interviews with 18 non-migrant mothers and wives and qualitative fieldwork in Honduras, we find that women’s interpretations of men’s migration are not simple, black-and-white assessments. Instead, these are multifaceted and shaped by the social milieu in which the women live. Whereas the remittances and gifts that the men send improve the lives of the women and their families, these transfers also convey assurances that the men have not forgotten them and they become expressions of love.

Keywords: migration, Honduras, women, remittances, emotions, sending countries, non-migrants

Suggested Citation

McKenzie, Sean and Menjívar, Cecilia, The Meanings of Migration, Remittances and Gifts: Views of Honduran Women Who Stay (2011). Global Networks: a Journal of Transnational Affairs, 11 (1): 63-81, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2332981

Sean McKenzie

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Cecilia Menjívar (Contact Author)

Department of Sociology ( email )

Lawrence, KS 66045-7585
United States

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