Relational Narratives and Moorings in International Mobility and Migration at an Advanced Age

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This article focuses on personal stories of international mobility and
migration as told close to the age of retirement. Talking about past international
mobility and migration, people tend to tell stories that are relational;
choices and actions are often explained in relation to other people
(Mason 2004). I map the relational nature of the mobility life stories in the
beginning and at the end of the stories and focus on moorings described
close to the time of retirement. Moorings reflect the value that individuals
place on locations, and which might influence their migration decisions
(Barcus and Brunn 2010). Moorings anchor a person to a specific place
through a combination of tangible and intangible elements, such as relatives,
property, dwelling, employment, and networks of connections. At
the time of retirement, moorings influence decisions concerning not only
a place of retirement but also the kin-work and care that is necessary in
maintaining the emotional and material well-being of families (see Conway
2007; Moon 1995). My analysis shows that mobility life stories told at
an advanced age tend to be less relational at their beginning than at the
point when the mobility life story is told. In a similar manner, moorings,
which include other people and things such as housing or health-care
availability, may change depending on the stage of life. Children, grandchildren,
and sometimes parents are given great importance at an advanced
age, whereas studies, career, and adventures are emphasized during youth.
Translated title of the contributionSosiaalisiin suhteisiin kiinnittyvät narratiivit ja elämän ankkurit ja ikääntyneiden maahanmuuto
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66–84
JournalJournal of Finnish Studies
Issue number1&2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2019
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Field of science

  • Social work

Citation for this output