Just a question of time? The composition and evolution of immigrants’ personal networks in Catalonia

Mireia Bolíbar, Joel Martí, Joan Miquel Verd

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19 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015, The Author(s) 2015. This article analyses the composition and evolution of migrants’ personal networks during their settlement process. Migration studies have emphasized the relational dimension of the migration process, but the topic has rarely been analysed systematically using social network analysis. Based on ego-network analysis and interviews with Ecuadorian and Moroccan immigrants in Catalonia, this article shows the diversity of configurations of migrants’ personal networks and their evolution: over the years only some migrants break their ties with the society of origin and substitute them with contacts with locals; others maintain or increase transnational ties; and yet others create co-ethnic ties in the host country. This diversity is explained in the article by examining migrant characteristics and circumstances prior to migration, such as the details of their migration projects and the features of their pre-migratory contacts. The results show that the interaction of gender with the organization of the migration process seems to have a strong impact on the evolution of these networks. At a methodological level, social network analysis proves to be a fruitful strategy for analysing the diverse incorporation of migrants into the host society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-598
JournalInternational Sociology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Catalonia
  • Ecuadorean immigrants
  • Moroccan immigrants
  • Spain
  • migration networks
  • migration project
  • personal networks
  • transnationalism


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