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'Gotta Go Visit Family': Reconsidering the Relationship Between Tourism and Transnationalism

von Koppenfels, Amanda Klekowski; Mulholland, Jon; Ryan, Louise


Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels

Louise Ryan


© 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. A comparative examination of two groups of highly skilled Global North migrants - US citizens (Americans) in London, Berlin, and Paris and French citizens in London - this paper explores the nature of these migrants' visits home, situating these visits between tourism and transnationalism. We question whether there has been a tendency to conceptualise visits home by migrants from the Global North as tourism and those from the Global South as transnational engagement. We found that our study participants' visits home often incorporated visits to family, relaxation, tourism, and cultural transmission to children, suggesting there is not a clear distinction between tourism and transnationalism. At the same time, we noted a certain tension between transnationalism, here primarily familial obligations, and tourism, as migrants sought to balance a felt need to visit family and a desire to have some aspect of relaxation or tourism. Visits home also often necessitated negotiations of social relations - often in both home and host countries. Finally, we noted a bidirectionality in visits: migrants visited home, but family and friends visited them as well, which also serves to maintain social connections with home, suggesting that the implications of this bidirectionality for the nature of transnationalism are an area for future research.


von Koppenfels, A. K., Mulholland, J., & Ryan, L. (2015). 'Gotta Go Visit Family': Reconsidering the Relationship Between Tourism and Transnationalism. Population, Space and Place, 21(7), 612-624.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 16, 2014
Online Publication Date Mar 2, 2015
Publication Date Oct 1, 2015
Deposit Date Oct 21, 2016
Journal Population, Space and Place
Print ISSN 1544-8444
Electronic ISSN 1544-8452
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 7
Pages 612-624
Keywords transnationalism, tourism, returnvisits, bidirectionality, French migrants, American migrants
Public URL
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