Understanding Social Remittances and the Pathways of Transfer of It: Insight from Kerala Migration Survey, India

Sandhya Rani Mahapatro, Institute for Social and Economic Change
Ajay Bailey, University of Groningen
K. S. James, Institute for Social and Economic Change
Inge Hutter, University of Groningen

This paper attempts to explore the pathways of transfer of social remittance in Kerala. Studies on international remittances in Kerala largely limited to economic remittances. Of late, it is realised that migrants send and bring back non-material goods- norms, ideas, care & practices termed as social remittances that are intertwined with economic one.The transfer of social remittance in this study is explored in two ways: First, to reveal the link between social and economic remittance–what ways social remittances blend with economic one and second, investment in social exchange- gifts. Using Kerala Migration Survey 2011, uses of remittances on different household items like education, health, improving living situation has taken to understand the linkage between social and economic remittances. Besides, investment in migrant gifting- reflect the investment in social relation.The survey shows that gifts consist more of clothes and electronics, facilitating migrants to mantain social ties with families at origin.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development and the Environment