chapter  13
16 Pages

Older migrants

Inequalities of ageing from a transnational perspective
WithAlistair Hunter

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Until recently, migrant older people were of marginal concern in the mainstream gerontology literature, symptomatic of a broader tendency in this field to occlude the heterogeneity of older populations and the inequalities which map onto this diversity in intersecting ways. The contribution of this chapter is to highlight the value of a ‘transnational ageing’ perspective, with many older migrants evaluating the success (or otherwise) of their life projects in relation to their peers both in countries of destination and in places of origin. A further advantage of a transnational perspective is that it draws attention to the diversity not only between but also within groups of older migrants. This enables research on older migrants to move beyond certain stereotypes, such as ‘vulnerable’ former labour migrants ageing in place versus ‘privileged’ Northern Europeans and North Americans who migrate following retirement for reasons of climate and other lifestyle factors. Rather, the same individual may be simultaneously disadvantaged in comparison with one reference group, but privileged in relation to another.