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Transnational engagements and health: Evidence from a scoping meta analysis and new insights from Eritrean transmigrants in Toronto

Authors: Vincent Kuuire*, University of Toronto - Mississauga
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism
Keywords: migration, health, psychosocial well-being, transmigrants, transnationalism,
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Transnational migrants are at the center of policy discussions in immigrant receiving countries as well as origin countries due to their growing numbers, intensifying cross-border engagements and their social, economic and political impacts in both destinations and origins. In destination countries, discussions around the integration-transnationalism nexus seek to address the question whether participation in transnational activities hinders or promotes integration into host societies. In origin countries, researchers and policy-makers are grappling with the various ways in which trans-migrants impact urban landscapes and whether trans-migrants contribute to exacerbating or reducing inequalities. The growing prominence of these discourses across the globe is both indicative of the pervasiveness of transnational activities, as well as the salience of trans-migrants as change agents within societies. While such macro-level discussions about integration and inequalities are ongoing, an important area which requires research attention is how transnational activities impact migrants themselves. Specifically, this paper focuses on the connection between migrant transnational engagements and health/well-being and addresses the question, does transnational engagements impact on migrant health? Among other things, this question is motivated by the fact that engagements in transnational activities (e.g., remittances, housing, religion, politics etc.), could act as sources of satisfaction or stress for migrants—with consequences for psychosocial well-being. Building on evidence from a scoping meta analysis, this paper proceeds to present findings from qualitative interviews on the connection between transnationalism and psychosocial well-being among Eritrean transmigrants residing in Toronto.

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