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Re-constructing reverse family remittances: the case of new Chinese immigrant families in New Zealand

Ran, Guanyu Jason; Liu, Liangni Sally


Liangni Sally Liu


Transnational family remittances normally indicate the transfer of money from immigrants to their left-behind families in the country of origin. However, a significant remittance pattern in many new Chinese immigrant families in New Zealand demonstrates a reverse money-flow, whereby family remittances are largely from older parents to their immigrant descendants living in the host-society. This paper explores the phenomenon of reverse remittances by demonstrating how socioculturally embedded inter-generational dynamics mediate the practice of remittance-sending in new Chinese immigrant families in New Zealand. It reveals that families’ financial statuses and inter-generational relations play a vital role in shaping the formation of reverse remittance practices. Four major patterns of reverse remittances are identified: the medium of the gift, financial support, pooling financial resources for collective family life, and investment; each of which carries distinctive material, cultural, and relational implications. This study broadens the debate on how family remittances are formed socially and culturally and further reinforces the reciprocal feature of transnational family relations across generations in the age of globalisation.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 25, 2021
Online Publication Date Nov 10, 2021
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Dec 5, 2022
Journal Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Print ISSN 1369-183X
Electronic ISSN 1469-9451
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 49
Issue 1
Pages 313-331
Keywords Reverse remittances, transnational immigrant families, multi-generational family relation, Chinese immigrant families, New Zealand
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