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A Migration Project in Retrospect: The Case of the Ageing Zero Generation in Emirdağ

Author

Listed:
  • Christiane Timmerman

    (Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies, University of Antwerp, Belgium)

  • Meia Walravens

    (Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies, University of Antwerp, Belgium)

  • Joris Michielsen

    (Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies, University of Antwerp, Belgium)

  • Nevriye Acar

    (Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies, University of Antwerp, Belgium)

  • Lore Van Praag

    (Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies, University of Antwerp, Belgium)

Abstract

In the twentieth century, Emirdağ (Turkey) witnessed extensive emigration and is now home to the ‘zero generation’: a group of elderly people who stayed behind when their children moved abroad. We investigate how these elderly people, with at least one child who left the country, evaluate their situation as they have grown older. Using fieldwork observations and in-depth interviews, we found that this group mainly associated the migration of their offspring with loneliness and exclusion from society, due to separation from their children and changes in the traditional family culture. The respondents clearly note a shift in the social position of family elders in Turkish culture, from highly respected to being ignored and looked down upon. While this change in status might be experienced by all elderly inhabitants of the region, feelings of distress were reinforced by an emerging discourse which suggests the migration project is a failed enterprise. The constraints their children experience in the immigrant country have led the zero generation to rely less on them and become more dependent on their own resources. Future research on ageing, migration and transnational care should focus on the different ways in which migration systems evolve, and the long-term effects on social inclusion of all generations.

Suggested Citation

  • Christiane Timmerman & Meia Walravens & Joris Michielsen & Nevriye Acar & Lore Van Praag, 2018. "A Migration Project in Retrospect: The Case of the Ageing Zero Generation in Emirdağ," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 6(3), pages 260-269.
  • Handle: RePEc:cog:socinc:v:6:y:2018:i:3:p:260-269
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Böhme, Marcus H. & Persian, Ruth & Stöhr, Tobias, 2015. "Alone but better off? Adult child migration and health of elderly parents in Moldova," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 211-227.
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    Cited by:

    1. Terry Wotherspoon, 2018. "Migration, Boundaries and Differentiated Citizenship: Contested Frameworks for Inclusion and Exclusion," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 6(3), pages 153-161.

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