The networked character of migration and transnationalism

Başak Bilecen, Miranda Jessica Lubbers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Acknowledgement of the prominent role of social networks in migration studies marked a significant departure from earlier studies, suggesting that social networks determine migration decisions, trajectories, and outcomes. While social network analytical tools have not always been used in empirical investigations of migratory phenomena, studies on migration that use relational approaches also show an inherent network thinking. In this paper, we review the state of the art of the literature on migration and social networks, highlighting the advances made by empirical research using network thinking, particularly in different stages of migration and for operationalizing transnational phenomena related to migration. Based on this review, we detect the role of networks in different stages of migration, and we reflect on the remaining challenges for future research regarding the role of social networks within migration scholarship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-852
Number of pages16
JournalGlobal Networks
Issue number4
Early online date16 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • social networks
  • migration
  • mobility
  • transnationalism
  • network analysis
  • relational approaches
  • migration and mobility


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