Shifting Geographical Configurations in Migrant Families: Narratives of Children Reunited with their Mothers in Italy

Paola Bonizzoni, Luisa Leonini


The article explores the experiences of separation and reunification by children of migrant mothers in Italy by analysing 32 qualitative interviews conducted with adolescents who had rejoined their mothers at different points in their lives. We show that international migration causes children to face multiple shifts in the configuration of their family ties due to the geographical dislocations and re-locations to which these ties are subject. The way in which children interpret and adjust to these changes depends on factors such as the timing of the family migration process and the frequency of transnational family practices, which are affected by more or less abrupt discontinuities in family life after their mothers’ and their own departure.


Transnational motherhood; Transnational childhood; Family reunification; Female migration

Full Text:

PDF - PDF (Deutsch)

Copyright (c) 2013 Comparative Population Studies

© 2019 Federal Institute for Population Research