The emotion management of transnational living

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This article explores how individuals with transnational lives handle emotion management in the form of cognitive and behavioural strategies. Transnational living is defined as spending substantial amounts of time and resources in two or more countries over a longer period. We use data derived through the ‘Transnational Lives in the Welfare State’ (TRANSWEL) research project, for which we conducted 91 semistructured interviews with 85 individuals and six couples leading transnational lives. These respondents include immigrants living in Norway or the Netherlands as well as native-born residents of both countries who live parts of the year abroad. While the emergent literature highlights how migration and transnationalism generally evoke feelings of nonbelonging, loss, homelessness, sorrow and guilt, we found that for many respondents, transnational living has predominantly positive attributes and that they could manage the emotional challenges of a transnational life. These results can be explained by our respondents' backgrounds, being relatively highly educated and embedded in an advanced welfare state.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2414
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
Issue number5
Early online date14 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the editors of this Special Issue (Cathrine Talleraas, Marta Bivand Erdal and J?rgen Carling, all from PRIO in Oslo, Norway) for their inspiration and support during the process of compiling this issue and writing this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Population, Space and Place published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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