Many case studies on the rationale and purpose of transnational housing initiatives and so-called remittance houses have been published over the past two decades. Still missing, though, is a framework to illustrate the conceptual value of researching these buildings and their ways of mediating the relationships between movers and stayers. With a view to this, the article illustrates what remittance houses ‘do’ to narrow down the gaps that emerge—in space, time, status, and knowledge—between migrants and their communities of origin. As our fieldwork with Ecuadorian migrants in Europe and their left-behind counterparts shows, remittance houses are more than investments, or resources for migrants’ emotional attachment and dreams of return. They are also central to the negotiation of class, status and belonging, and to the very interplay between housing and home along the course of migration. As ‘agents’ in themselves, these houses shape the transnational connections between distant and disparate places, and the circulation of home-related ideas and practices across them. Over time, they embody a variety of meanings and expectations that, unlike the buildings, are far from fixed or immobile.
P. Boccagni, L.E. Pérez Murcia: Fixed places, shifting distances: remittance houses and migrants’ negotiation of home in Ecuador (“Migration Studies”, 2020)
HOMInG’s Paolo Boccagni and Luis Eduardo Pérez Murcia have just published a paper, in Migration Studies, which highlights the significance of “remittance houses” to investigate migrants’ positions, interests and life projects, relative to their countries of origin. See the abstract below. See the link here:
Fixed places, shifting distances: remittance houses and migrants’ negotiation of home in Ecuador