IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Migrants and their money are not all the same: Migration, remittances and family morality in rural South India


  • Ester Gallo

    (Department of International Relations, Gediz University, Izmir, Turkey)


The article analyses the relation between social remittances and migrant fami-lies through the perspective of migrant elites’ politics of identity in sending contexts. It argues for the importance of looking historically at how competing engagements with migration have led people to morally evaluate the suitability of remittances for kinship well-being. Migrant elites' conceptions of remittances are underpinned by a double meaning associated with ‘foreign money’, which is in turn highly influenced by local perceptions of different migrant destinations. On the one hand, money (as other goods) symbolizes loyalty towards the family and the community. On the other, money becomes the visible manifestation of distance between kin, and is locally judged insofar as it is not able to replace the lack of family care and affection. In the process, remittances emerge not only as a medium of family care, but also a social phenomenon through which the morality and possibility of kinship solidarity is questioned, if not invalidated.

Suggested Citation

  • Ester Gallo, 2013. "Migrants and their money are not all the same: Migration, remittances and family morality in rural South India," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 10(1), pages 33-46, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:10:y:2013:i:1:p:33-46

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    migration; remittances; kinship; morality; Kerala;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:10:y:2013:i:1:p:33-46. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (TPLondon). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.