The family has traditionally played a circumscribed role in empirical studies of migration. Kin members are typically treated as key actors in facilitating movement across borders, and easing the adaptation and incorporation of immigrants in the country of reception. Post-migration, it is ambiguous how family who remain in the country of origin impact migrants’ homeland connections. Empirical studies of immigrants’ transnationalism have paid attention to confirming the range of ways cross-border ties are maintained (remitting, political activity, visiting, etc.) while neglecting to provide evidence of the mechanisms by which these activities occur.

In ongoing research, I document the geographic locations of core family members over time, and examine how this influences migrants' transnational ties as well as incorporation in the receiving country.

Park, Sung S. and Roger D. Waldinger. 2016. “Bridging the Territorial Divide: Immigrants’ Cross-Border Communication and the Spatial Dynamics of Their Kin Networks.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 43(1):1-23. doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2016.1211003