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Remittance Space

Remittance Space

Buildings as Evidence of Social Change

(p.1) Introduction: Remittance Space
The Remittance Landscape
Sarah Lynn Lopez
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines remittances as an economic transaction and social practice that links macro demographic change and institutional policies with local, individual material and spatial practices. An overview of the scope and scale of remitting, as well as an examination of Manuel Gamio and Paul S. Taylor’s studies as historical antecedents of today’s remittance culture, provides context for “remittance space.” Ethnographic accounts of the social, spatial, and psychological conditions of migration and remitting also describe the inherent distances, ambivalences, and aspirations that migrants experience as they attempt to build a better life.

Keywords:   remittances space, transnational migration, remitting as a way of life, distance, ambivalence, aspirations, ethnography

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