Ping-pong poms: Emotional reflexivity in contemporary return migration from Australia to the United Kingdom

Mary Holmes, Roger Burrows

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    About 20,000 people from the United Kingdom emigrate to Australia each year. Of these, a significant number return to the United Kingdom, and some return again to Australia. Studies of such patterns of migration and return (and return again) were quite common a few decades ago, but are now rare. This paper makes use of a contemporary data source - an Internet-mediated discussion forum - to explore the experiences of modern 'ping-pong poms'. A picture emerges of these migrants as exercising emotional reflexivity in dealing with the pull of family left behind, 'homesickness', the lack of a sense of belonging and their often-disappointed dreams of a 'better life'. By understanding the importance of emotions in people's decisions about return migration, policy can better attend to the realities of more mobile lives.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-123
    Number of pages19
    JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
    Volume47
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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