Translocal Livelihoods: New Perspectives in Livelihood Research

  • Malte SteinbrinkEmail author
  • Hannah Niedenführ
Part of the Springer Geography book series (SPRINGERGEOGR)


The most advanced operationalization of “translocality” is found in (geographical) development studies, specifically within livelihood research. The livelihood perspective and the translocal perspective are analytically mutually enriching. On the one hand, the livelihood approach opens a methodological perspective on translocal agency, allowing for the investigation of mobility and space-spanning structures. On the other hand, the translocal perspective allows us to better understand the role of migration and space-spanning social networks for livelihood security. In this chapter, we first explain why the translocalization of the livelihood perspective is analytically necessary (Sect. 3.1), before discussing some important concepts and methodological implications of the translocal livelihood approach (Sect. 3.2). We introduce the terminology of “translocal social space” (Sect. 3.2.1), “translocal community” (Sect. 3.2.2), and “translocal household” (Sect. 3.2.3) and examine the necessity of a “bi- or multilocal approach to fieldwork” (Sect. 3.2.4). These concepts are useful for overcoming the local bias of conventional concepts within livelihood research.


Translocal livelihoods Translocal community Translocal household Translocal methodology 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GeographyUniversity of PassauPassauGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural StudiesUniversity of OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany

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