Mobility trajectories of young lives: Life chances of transnational youths in Global South and North

imageResearch Theme: Transnational Families

Mobility trajectories of young lives: Life chances of transnational youths in Global South  and North (MO-TRAYL)

Funded by: European Research Council (Consolidator Grant)

Project leader: Valentina Mazzucato, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Technology & Society Studies

The objective of the project is to develop a better understanding of the relationship between migration and young people’s life-chances by studying youth’s mobility trajectories. How the life chances of youths, defined as their educational performance, psychological well-being and transitions into adulthood, are impacted by migration is of relevance for European cities that are faced with a growing youth population with migrant background. At the same time, cities in the Global South, where many migrants in Europe originate from, are faced with large portions of the population of minors who are living without at least one of their parents due to their parents’ migration. There is growing concern in both academia and policy about how these ‘stay-behind’ children are faring. Yet little is known about how migration impacts young people in the Global North and South in the medium-term, in part because our conception of young people’s mobility patterns has to date been overly simplified (either they move once, or they do not) and a national perspective has guided research. This results in a lack of data that specifically looks at the different mobility patterns of young people and hardly any that has a longitudinal dimension.

MO-TRAYL will break new ground by studying simultaneously youths in the Global South who have remained ‘at home’ and those who have migrated to Europe by making use of unique new longitudinal data collected in the Global South as well as collecting new data in the Global North that specifically traces the mobility trajectories, the resulting different family compositions along the way, and how both affect life chances. Through a transnational perspective in which family members and events spanning home and host countries are brought to bear on life chances, MO-TRAYL aims to re-conceptualize youth mobility and families and add a longitudinal dimension to the study of migration and life chance outcomes. The project focuses on Ghanaian children in Ghana, The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.