In this paper, we examine the interactions between transnationalism and integration in a case-control study. Using a typology of interactions, the study assesses how a transnational household form affects structural and socio-cultural integration. The research draws upon 20 interviews with Chinese immigrants to Vancouver, Canada, to compare the integration experiences of women in transnational split households with those of women in dual-parent households. In the transnational split households, the women live with their children in the receiving nation-state, while their husbands reside and work in the country of origin. The findings illustrate an antagonistic relationship between transnationalism, and employment and financial integration. In contrast, results show a transnational split household approach positively affects housing and socio-cultural integration as compared to a dual-parent household strategy.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
To protect participant confidentiality, pseudonyms are used in place of participant names.
Abada, T., & Tenkorang, E. Y. (2009). Pursuit of university education among the children of immigrants in canada: the roles of parental human capital and social capital. Journal of Youth Studies, 12(2), 185–207.
Abelmann, N., Newendorp, N., & Lee-Chung, S. (2014). East Asia’s astronaut and geese families: Hong Kong and South Korean Cosmopolitanisms. Critical Asian Studies, 46(2), 259–286.
Aye, A. M., & Guerin, B. (2001). Astronaut families: a review of their characteristics, impact on families and implications for practice in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 30(1), 9–15.
Berg, B. L. (2007). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Bryceson, D., & Vuorela, U. (2002). Transnational families in the twenty-first century. In D. Bryceson & U. Vuorela (Eds.), The transnational family: New European frontiers and global networks (pp. 3–30). Oxford: Berg.
Cabral, V. (2000). Settlement services for newcomers and access to family services. Toronto: The multicultural coalition for access to family services. Retrieved April 10, 2018, from http://atwork.settlement.org/downloads/Access_Family_Services.pdf
Chee, M. W. (2005). Taiwanese American transnational families: Women and Kin Work. New York: Routledge.
Chiang, L.-H. N. (2008). “Astronaut Families”: transnational lives of middle-class Taiwanese married women in Canada. Social and Cultural Geography, 9(5), 505–518.
Curtis, S., Geslerb, W., Smith, G., & Washburn, S. (2000). Approaches to sampling and case selection in qualitative research: examples in the geography of health. Social Science & Medicine, 50(7–8), 1001–1014.
Da, W. W. (2003). Transnational grandparenting: child care arrangements among migrants from the People’s Republic of China to Australia. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 4(1), 79–103.
Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005). The discipline and practice of qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (pp. 1–32). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Dreby, J. (2006). Honor and virtue: Mexican parenting in the transnational context. Gender and Society, 20(1), 32–59.
Emerson, R. M., Fretz, R. I., & Shaw, L. L. (1995). Writing ethnographic fieldnotes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Erdal, M. B., & Oeppen, C. (2013). Migrant balancing acts: understanding the interactions between integration and transnationalism. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39(6), 867–884.
Guest, G., Bunce, A., & Johnson, L. (2006). How many interviews are enough? An experiment with data saturation and variability. Field Methods, 18(1), 59–82.
Haan, M. (2005). The decline of the immigrant home-ownership advantage: life-cycle, declining fortunes and changing housing careers in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, 1981–2001. Urban Studies, 42(12), 2191–2212.
Haan, M. (2007). The homeownership hierarchies of Canada and the United States: the housing patterns of White and non-White immigrants of the past thirty years. International Migration Review, 41(2), 433–465.
Haan, M. (2012). The housing experiences of new Canadians: insights from the longitudinal survey of immigrants to Canada (LSIC). Ottawa: Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/ircc/migration/ircc/english/pdf/research-stats/housing-haan.pdf
Hiebert, D., Germain, A., Murdie, R., Preston, V., Renaud, J., Rose, D., ... Murnaghan, A. M. (2006). The housing situation and needs of recent immigrants in the Montréal,Toronto, and Vancouver CMAs: An overview. Ottawa: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/65319.pdf?lang=en
Hiebert, D., Mendez, P., & Wyly, E. (2008). The housing situation and needs of recent immigrants in the Vancouver metropolitan area. Vancouver: Metropolis British Columbia.
Ho, E., & Bedford, R. (2008). Asian transnational families in New Zealand: Dynamics and challenges. International Migration, 46(4), 41–62.
Holstein, J. A., & Gubrium, J. F. (2003). Inside interviewing: New lenses, new concerns. In J. A. Holstein & J. F. Gubrium (Eds.), Inside interviewing: New lenses, new concerns (pp. 3–30). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Huang, S., & Yeoh, B. S. (2005). Transnational families and their children’s education: China’s “Study Mothers” in Singapore. Global Networks, 5(4), 379–400.
Irving, H. H., Tsang, A. K., & Benjamin, M. (1999). Satellite children in Canada: an exploratory study of their experience. International Review of Modern Sociology, 29(2), 1–21.
Kivisto, P. (2001). Theorizing transnational immigration: a critical review of current efforts. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 24(4), 549–577.
Kobayashi, A., & Preston, V. (2007). Transnationalism through the life course: Hong Kong immigrants in Canada. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 48(2), 151–167.
Kuuire, V. Z., Arku, G., Luginaah, I., Abada, T., & Buzzelli, M. (2016). Impact of remittance behaviour on immigrant homeownership trajectories: an analysis of the longitudinal survey of immigrants in Canada from 2001 to 2005. Social Indicators Research, 127(3), 1135–1156.
Lam, L. (1994). Searching for a safe haven: the migration and settlement of Hong Kong Chinese immigrants in Toronto. In R. Skeldon (Ed.), Reluctant exiles? Migration from Hong Kong and the new overseas Chinese (pp. 163–179). Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, Inc..
Landolt, P., & Da, W. W. (2005). The spatially ruptured practices of migrant families: a comparison of immigrants from El Salvador and the People’s Republic of China. Current Sociology, 53(4), 625–653.
Levitt, P., & Glick Schiller, N. (2004). Conceptualizing simultaneity: a transnational social field perspective on society. International Migration Review, 38(3), 1002–1039.
Ley, D. (2013). Does transnationalism Trump immigrant integration? Evidence from Canada’s Links with East Asia. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39(6), 921–938.
Mason, M. (2010). Sample size and saturation in PhD studies using qualitative interviews. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(3), Article 8.
McCracken, G. (1998). The long interview. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.
Morse, J. M. (2000). Determining sample size. Qualitative Health Research, 10(1), 3–5.
Mügge, L. (2016). Transnationalism as a research paradigm and its relevance for integration. In B. Garcés-Mascareñas & R. Penninx (Eds.), Integration processes and policies in Europe: Contexts, levels and actors (pp. 109–125). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Leech, N. L. (2007). Sampling designs in qualitative research: making the sampling process more public. The Qualitative Report, 12(2), 238–254.
Orellana, M. F., Thorne, B., Chee, A., & Lam, W. S. (2001). Transnational childhoods: the participation of children in processes of family migration. Social Problems, 48(4), 572–591.
Parrenas, R. S. (2005). Children of global migration: transnational families and gendered woes. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Pe-Pua, R., Mitchell, C., Castles, S., & Iredale, R. (1998). Astronaut families and parachute children: Hong Kong immigrants in Australia. In E. Sinn (Ed.), The last half century of Chinese overseas (pp. 279–297). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Petersen, L., & Park-Saltzman, J. (2010). Implications for counselling Asian transnational youth: the experiences of Taiwanese youth in Vancouver. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 44(4), 402–420.
Portes, A. (1999). Conclusion: towards a new world—the origins and effects of transnational activities. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 22(2), 463–477.
Portes, A., Guarnizo, L. E., & Landolt, P. (1999). The study of transnationalism: pitfalls and promise of an emergent research field. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 22(2), 217–237.
Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., & Elam, G. (2003). Designing and selecting samples. In J. Ritchie & J. Lewis (Eds.), Qualitative research practice. A guide for social science students and researchers (pp. 77–108). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Rubin, H. J., & Rubin, I. S. (2005). Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Ryan, L., & Woodill, J. (2000). A search for home: Refugee voices in the Romero House community. Toronto: Romero House. Retrieved April 10, 2018, from http://atwork.settlement.org/downloads/Refugee_Voices.pdf
Sheppard, M. A. (1998). The “Astronaut” family and the schools. Ottawa: National Library of Canada. Retrieved June 3, 2015, from http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk2/ftp02/NQ33927.pdf
Shooshtari, S., Harvey, C. D., Ferguson, E., Heinonen, T., & Khan, S. (2014). Effects of remittance behavior on the lives of recent immigrants to Canada from the Philippines: a population-based longitudinal study. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 35(1), 95–105.
Shuy, R. W. (2003). In-person versus telephone interviewing. In J. A. Holstein (Ed.), Inside interviewing: New lenses, new concerns (pp. 175–193). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Simone, D., & Newbold, K. B. (2014). Housing trajectories across the urban hierarchy: analysis of the longitudinal survey of immigrants to Canada, 2001–2005. Housing Studies, 29(8), 1096–1116.
Skeldon, R. (1994). Hong Kong in an international migration system. In R. Skeldon (Ed.), Reluctant exiles? Migration from Hong Kong and the new overseas Chinese (pp. 21–51). Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, Inc..
Snel, E., Engbersen, G., & Leerkes, A. (2006). Transnational involvement and social integration. Global Networks, 6(3), 285–308.
Teo, S. Y. (2007). Vancouver’s “Newest” Chinese Diaspora: Settlers or “Immigrant Prisoners”? GeoJournal, 68(2/3), 211–222.
Wang, H. (2011). “I Love You, so I Choose to Not Be with You”: The practice of transnational parenting among Chinese immigrant families. Ann Arbor: ProQuest.
Wang, S., & Lo, L. (2004). Chinese immigrants in Canada: Their changing composition and economic performance. Toronto: Joint Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from http://ceris.ca/wp-content/uploads/virtual-library/Wang_et_al_2004b.pdf
Wang, S., & Wang, Q. (2012). Contemporary Asian immigrants in the United States and Canada. In C. Teixeira, W. Li, & A. Kobayashi (Eds.), Immigrant geographies of North American cities (pp. 208–230). Don Mills: Oxford University Press.
Waters, J. L. (2002). Flexible Families? “Astronaut” households and the experiences of lone mothers in Vancouver, British Columbia. Social and Cultural Geography, 3(2), 117–134.
Waters, J. (2003). Flexible Citizens? Transnationalism and citizenship amongst economic immigrants in Vancouver. Canadian Geographer, 47(3), 219–234.
Waters, J. L. (2005). Transnational family strategies and education in the contemporary chinese diaspora. Global Networks, 5(4), 359–377.
Yeoh, B. S., Huang, S., & Lam, T. (2005). Transnationalizing the “Asian” Family: Imaginaries, Intimacies and Strategic Intents. Global Networks, 5(4), 307–315.
Zhou, M. (1998). “Parachute Kids” in Southern California: The Educational Experience of Chinese Children in Transnational Families. Educational Policy, 12(6), 682–704.
This work was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Salary Award.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
About this article
Cite this article
Ptashnick, M., Zuberi, D. To Live Apart or Together: Integration Outcomes of Astronaut Versus Dual-Parent Household Strategies. Int. Migration & Integration 19, 849–864 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-018-0579-8
- Transnational split household