Transnational Families and Neo-Liberal Globalisation: Past, Present and Future



The concept of ‘transnational family’ coalesced in the context of neo-liberal globalisation during the late 1990s and 2000s. This article traces the social, economic and political forces that have influenced the spread of transnational families throughout the world during the 21st century. Meanwhile, the digital revolution in social media communication and cheapening international travel costs has facilitated transnational family members communication with one another. Examining material exchanges between transnational family members in sending and receiving countries, childcare support for migrants’ left-behind children provided by home-based family members has been a critical enabler of women’s out-migration. In turn, migrants’ remittance payments have been a basic lifeline or a source of improved standards of living for family members in sending countries. Overtime, global neo-liberal policies have generated the context for the expansion of transnational family migration through promotion of international travel and internet communication. However, neo-liberalism has inadvertently paved the way for the growth of national precariats and one-state populism resting on segments of Western national populations’ resentment of international migration. Collapsing neo-liberalism as well as the intensification of global warming and the onset of the COVID pandemic are likely to influence the future of global migration and transnational familyhood in, as yet, indeterminant ways.


transnational familiestransnational familyhoodmigrantsmigration policyone-nation populismremittancesglobal inequality
  • Year: 2022
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 120–138
  • DOI: 10.33134/njmr.369
  • Submitted on 12 Jul 2020
  • Accepted on 16 Nov 2021
  • Published on 1 Jun 2022
  • Peer Reviewed