The remittance debate reconsidered: Reverse remittance practice among Ghanaian migrants in the UK and their relatives in Ghana

In her research Geraldine explores South to North economic transfers between Ghanaian migrants in the UK and their relatives in Ghana. In line with recent calls for the re-introduction of class in migration research, she engages with Pierre Bourdieu’s conceptualisation of class as the disposal of different forms of capital - economic, cultural and social to argue that transnational economic exchanges between migrants and their relatives are shaped by their socio-economic backgrounds and access to capital. For example not all migrants remit and one explanation for this is that their relatives in origin countries are economically self-sufficient. Geraldine makes the case that class analysis in migration research should not be confined to the initiation of migration alone. Access to capital also plays a crucial role in shaping the dynamics of transnational economic exchanges and makes it possible for migrants to receive reverse remittances. Reverse remittances have been conceptualised as transfers, which move from poor migrant origin areas to migrants in wealthy destination areas. These transfers are vital for migrants considering the vulnerable position in which some migrants find themselves particularly irregular migrants who may be unable to access formal welfare protection because of their status.

Geraldine Adiku
Research Student