Managing multiple life courses: the influence of children on migration processes in the European Union

Louise Ackers and Helen Stalford

in Social Policy Review 19

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9781861349415
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303466 | DOI:
Managing multiple life courses: the influence of children on migration processes in the European Union

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This chapter considers the impact of personal and family relationships and obligations on migration behaviour. The analysis seeks to add to debates that move beyond the ‘male breadwinner’ and economic rationality models of migration. Instead, it highlights the complexity and multiplicity of factors involved in the migration process, with a particular focus on the life course and the influence of children. The analysis draws on qualitative research carried out among highly skilled (science) professionals moving within the EU, with Bulgaria and Poland identified as ‘sending’ countries and the UK and Germany as two ‘destination’ countries. The chapter demonstrates that those who migrate with children are strongly influenced by their families' needs, particularly those of their children. However, the nature of these needs is not static but dynamic, and will vary over the life course, just as strategies and options for meeting these needs will change. The chapter highlights the importance of context for understanding the migration process, particularly in relation to domestic welfare regimes, access to and affordability of childcare provision, and education.

Keywords: personal relationships; family relationships; migration behaviour; children; skilled labour; migrant labour; welfare regimes; childcare; education

Chapter.  8565 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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