Return migration, a case study from Swan River Valley, Manitoba

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Grindle, Trent W.
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Migration is a fact of life experienced by many human beings. A large body of academic studies have been devoted to migration, but a significant aspect of migration has been largely ignored by most social sciences, or explained away as anomalies or with simple causal models, usually economically based. Return migration represents a significant amount of the total migration flow around the world. This thesis is comprised of a case study of return migrants from the Swan River Valley area of the Province of Manitoba, Canada, as well as an examination and comparison between various other case studies of return migration from around the world. Beginning from a basis of rejecting singular causal factors, especially those of an economic nature, this study is an attempt to show, in a holistic manner, the causes and effects of return migration. Some of the most significant factors causing migrants to return to their region of origin include the desire to live close to family, familiarity with local networks in the region of origin and a rejection of many aspects of urban living. Although more involved research needs to be done, the findings of this research shows that understanding the factors affecting return migration could have strong implications for academic studies of migration as well as for government policy makers in the areas of migration and immigration.