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Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1946;

‘They had to Go’: Indian Older Adults’ Experiences of Rationalizing and Compensating the Absence of Migrant Children

Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University, 3512 JE Utrecht, The Netherlands
Transdisciplinary Center for Qualitative Methods, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal 576104, Karnataka, India
Population Research Centre, J.S.S Institute of Economic Research, Dharwad 580004, India
Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 March 2018 / Revised: 1 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
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In transnational families, it is often the older adults who are left-behind or choose to stay behind. Currently the population aged 60 years and older in India constitutes over 7 percent of the total population (1.25 billion) and is projected to triple in the next four decades. In the past family has been the major source of support in later life. One of the consequences of increased mobility is the decreasing role of family in care provision. The Indian middle-class norms on higher education, which stressed on engineering and medicine, have resulted in professionally educated children leaving the parental home to seek work and thus family life in other geographical locations. In this paper we examine how transregional and transnational mobilities and the resulting absences impact the lives of older adults. We draw upon 37 in-depth interviews conducted in Dharwad district of Karnataka, India. The results show that older adults employ two strategies of rationalizing absence and compensating absence of migrant children. These strategies reflect the resilience of the older adults to make sense of this trans-local family life, that in a previous generation they were not aware of. View Full-Text
Keywords: transnational families; absence; ageing; care; emotional costs; India transnational families; absence; ageing; care; emotional costs; India
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Bailey, A.; Hallad, J.; James, K.S. ‘They had to Go’: Indian Older Adults’ Experiences of Rationalizing and Compensating the Absence of Migrant Children. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1946.

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