Signalling the End of the Migration Journey: Exploring Transnational Ageing Narratives on Residential Selection

  • Shamette HepburnEmail author


After migrating from Jamaica to Canada, many transmigrants eventually become retirees. With increased insecurity in later life, older adult transmigrants continue to experience the ever-shifting conceptions of identity and belonging. With most of their working lives spent in Canada, they now have multi-layered identities stemming from their transnational and diasporic experiences. These considerations remain important when they are faced with residential decisions about where to live when they retire. This paper illustrates the spatial and temporal contexts of the transnational ageing experience by exploring the findings of a multi-sited ethnographic study of Jamaican Canadian retirees (age 60 and over). The study aimed to foster an understanding of the transmigrant experiences of Jamaican Canadian older adults who live in and across Canada and Jamaica. Central questions were the following: How do retired Jamaican Canadian transmigrants perceive their experience of retirement? What are some of the considerations in selecting a final residence after they retire? How do they signal the end of their migration journey from Jamaica to Canada? Data collection took place in Toronto, Canada, and in Trelawny and Manchester, Jamaica. The study revealed opportunities and challenges associated with ageing across borders and the factors which determine where older adult transmigrants select as their final residence post-retirement, a process which signals the occlusion of their migration endeavour.


Canada Jamaica Transnationalism Retirement Ageing Ethnography 



The author wishes to thank the participants in this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This research was approved by the Research and Ethics Board of the University of Toronto.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Work, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional StudiesYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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