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New Perspectives on International Migration and Development$
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Jeronimo Cortina and Enrique Ochoa-Reza

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156806

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156806.001.0001

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Bringing Culture Back In

Bringing Culture Back In

Opportunities and Challenges for the Migration-Development Nexus

Chapter:
(p.67) Chapter 3 Bringing Culture Back In
Source:
New Perspectives on International Migration and Development
Author(s):

Peggy Levitt

Deepak Lamba-Nieves

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231156806.003.0003

This chapter explores the role of culture in the migration-development debate. It explains how culture permeates all aspects of the development enterprise by influencing how development goals are established, what policies are put in place to achieve them, and how successfully they are achieved. It also considers how culture becomes a useful tool to conceptualize the role or lack thereof of national boundaries for framing and understanding the connection between migration and development. In trying to bring culture back into migration debates, the chapter not only looks at the migration of culture (or religion, ideas, or artistic practices) but also views migration as a cultural act and from a transnational perspective. It also discusses the relationship between immigrant poverty and community development in sending societies and treats culture as a dimension of all social relations and forms that affects all aspects of immigrant incorporation and sending-community development. Finally, it employs the term “social remittances” to call attention to the fact that, in addition to money, migrants also export ideas and behaviors back to their sending communities.

Keywords:   culture, migration, development, poverty, community development, social relations, social remittances, migrants

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