Material Remittances in the Context of Seasonal Work: Social and Economic Change in Vanuatu

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Migration research often overlooks examinations of material remittances, yet their contributions to social transformations in Vanuatu have been significant. Remittances are multifaceted: the relationship between sender and receiver, obligations of reciprocity, earnings, and costs of remitting determine what migrants remit. Next to money transfers, material remittances contribute significantly to the improvement of living conditions of their recipients, their households, and their broader communities, which are most notable in the built environment, household goods, resources for education, community projects, customary practices, and business opportunities. Like migration itself, remitted material goods are often perceived ambivalently: as a developmental aid and, at the same time, associated with a loss of tradition, creating inequalities and jealousies within communities. Nonetheless, the case study of Vanuatu shows that remittance actors and their communities argue that negative scenarios are outweighed by positive consequences from participation in labor mobility and the accompanying remittances.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRemittances as Social Practices and Agents of Change The Future of Transnational Society
    Editors Silke Meyer and Claudius Ströhle
    Place of PublicationAustria
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Cham
    ISBN (Print)978-3-030-81503-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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