Social Determinants of Remitting Practices among Bangladeshi Migrants in Japan

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Abstract

Why do migrants send remittances? Through ethnographic fieldwork and in-depth interviews among Bangladeshi migrants in Tokyo, this article explores the social determinants of migrants' remitting practices. It offers a realist analytical approach following Durkheim's perspective on how society determines an individual's action. It recognizes social relations between the migrants and their families and relatives as the essential foundation for remitting to occur, while migrants' adherence to social norms, as well as legal and social exclusion in the destination, causes them to participate in various qualitatively distinct remitting practices. Therefore, it argues that migrants' social relations to the family and community cause them to remit, and changes in these relations result in subsequent changes in their remitting. It complements the New Economics of Labor Migration (NELM) approach by incorporating the social (both relational and spatial) context of remitting. By bringing in migrants' agency, it also overcomes the limitations in social-cultural approaches that prioritize structural determinants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-112
Number of pages18
JournalSociological Perspectives
Volume60
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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Keywords

  • critical realism
  • determinants
  • Durkheim
  • migrants' remitting
  • social action

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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