Is there a place migrants would call home? What does it look like, why does it matter, and how does it change over time? Paolo Boccagni, Bernardo Armanni and Cristiano Santinello have just published a research article on ‘A place migrants would call home: open-ended constructions and social determinants over time among Ecuadorians in three European cities’. The article, available in open access in Comparative Migration Studies, draws on HOMInG’s transnational survey among Ecuadorian migrants in London, Milan and Madrid. It explores how migrants represent, spatialize and “prioritize” home, given their demographics and life circumstances, over time and across countries. See the abstract below.
Boccagni, P., Armanni, B. & Santinello, C. A place migrants would call home: open-ended constructions and social determinants over time among Ecuadorians in three European cities. CMS 9, 47 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40878-021-00256-y
Is there a place in particular that international migrants would call home? How do they talk about it, where does it lie, and what characteristics is it expected to have, given their demographics and patterns of settlement? Similar questions are meaningful in themselves and in illuminating migrant biographical, family and housing trajectories. We address them, in this paper, through the categorization and multinomial analysis of the responses to a dedicated open-ended question in a survey on Ecuadorians in Madrid, Milan and London (n = 1,175). This original dataset allows us to explore migrant views of home against the background of their demographics and of their migration and housing conditions. We analyse respondents’ ways to articulate, spatialize and prioritize key aspects of home through a logit model, thereby assessing their association with age, length of stay, housing tenure, family networks and city of residence. Overall, their predominant construction of home points to a place in the country of settlement, but not necessarily to their own dwelling. Younger and newcomer immigrants see home as a primarily relational construct, whereas older and long-stayers emphasize its place-based and private dimension. Significant variations in the expected emplacement and bases of home can be found across cities of residence. However, no significant variations are associated either with gender or with migrants’ transnational engagement.