Social capital, resources and context: the impact of migrant networks in Senegalese, Ghanaian and Congolese migration to Europe

Sorana Toma, University of Oxford
Mao-Mei Liu, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

The migrant social capital literature is quite rich, but does have a few weaknesses: 1. Lingering ambiguity about migrant network mechanisms (detailed in Garip 2008 and Stecklov 2010, reviewed in González-Ferrer and Liu 2012); 2. Limited geographical reach; and 3. Limited theoretical exploration of how context affects migrant networks action. Here, we attempt to confront these issues and help shed light on the complexity of migrant network action. Building on previous comparative work (Toma and Vause 2011) and studies investigating network resources (Garip 2008, Liu 2013), we propose analyzing how migrant networks activate different resources for international migration, and whether and how this changes with economic climate and period. To do so, we exploit a recent source of data (Migration between Africa and Europe 2008-2010) and use event history analysis to compare migrant networks effects among three migration flows to Europe: from DR Congo, Ghana and Senegal.

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Presented in Session 31: Social networks among new immigrants and the foreign born