Abstract In this article we reconsider the meaning of return migration in a period of growing transnational practices. In its conventional use, return migration conveys the same sense of closure and completion as the immigration‐assimilation narrative. But in a transnational era, movement is better described as continuous rather than completed. Focus groups held in Hong Kong with middle‐class returnees from Canada reveal that migration is undertaken strategically at different stages of the life cycle. The return trip to Hong Kong typically occurs for economic reasons at the stage of early or mid career. A second move to Canada may occur later with teenage children for educational purposes, and migration at retirement is even more likely when the quality of life in Canada becomes a renewed priority. Strategic switching between an economic pole in Hong Kong and a quality‐of‐life pole in Canada identifies each of them to be separate stations within an extended but unified social field.
Global Networks – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 2005
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