Questions of Friendship and Degrees of Transnationality among Second-Generation Return Migrants to Barbados
Phillips, J. and Potter, R. (2009) Questions of Friendship and Degrees of Transnationality among Second-Generation Return Migrants to Barbados. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35 (4). pp. 669-688. ISSN 1369-183X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/13691830902765327
While the academic literature has demonstrated the importance of social networks in relation to the process of migration, investigations have rarely examined in detail the personal-social adjustment issues that migrants and return migrants face. This study examines the context and types of friendship pattern that young return migrants from Britain cultivate in Barbados. The research centres on a wholly under-researched demographic groupyoung return migrants or second-generation Barbadians who have decided to return to the birthplace of their parents. The investigation is based on 51 in-depth interviews carried out with these young returnees to Barbados. Presenting a taxonomy of friendship types, it is argued that, for the 'Bajan-Brits' under study, the cultivation of new friendships is highly problematic. The research identifies what we refer to as the 'insular transnational', the 'we are different' and the 'all-inclusive transnational' friendship types among the young returnees. Our analysis also shows that problems of friendship are highly gendered, with females reporting the most problems due to what is perceived as sexual and workplace competition. It is stressed that these circumstances exemplify the essentially 'hybrid', 'liminal' and 'in-between' positionality of these second-generation migrants within contemporary Barbadian society.