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The differential role of social networks: Strategies and routes in Brazilian migration to Portugal and the Netherlands

Author

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  • Masja van Meeteren

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Sonia Pereira

    () (Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon)

Abstract

This paper draws on qualitative and quantitative data on the migration experiences of Brazilians living in Portugal and the Netherlands to reflect and expand upon the existing knowledge on the role of social networks in migration processes. We consider different migrant profiles based on principal migration motives to identify differentiated socio-demographic profiles and relate these to migration strategies. We show that differences in the ways migrants access and use social networks in their migration projects can be related to these different migration motives and profiles. Simultaneously, we compare two distinct immigration contexts both in terms of contemporary immigration regimes and working opportunities and historical links to Brazil. Our findings demonstrate that migration scholars need to move beyond the narrow conceptualisation of social networks based on community or kin relationships, to consider multiple configurations involving different agents – both in the origin and destination countries – at different stages of the migration process. In addition, we show that future analyses would benefit from taking into account the differences between migrants driven by distinct motivations in different places.

Suggested Citation

  • Masja van Meeteren & Sonia Pereira, 2013. "The differential role of social networks: Strategies and routes in Brazilian migration to Portugal and the Netherlands," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2013010, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:nor:wpaper:2013010
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    File URL: http://www.norface-migration.org/publ_uploads/NDP_10_13.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sara Curran & Estela Rivero-Fuentes, 2003. "Engendering migrant networks: The case of Mexican migration," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(2), pages 289-307, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tubadji, Annie & Gheasi, Masood & Nijkamp, Peter, 2014. "Immigrants' 'Ability' and Welfare as a Function of Cultural Diversity: Effect of Cultural Capital at Individual and Local Level," IZA Discussion Papers 8460, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    Keywords

    Social networks; immigration; migration motives; Portugal; Brazil; Netherlands;

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