Thinking about the role of lifestyle in other migration trends

By Marta Bolognani (University of Bristol)

The Emergence of Lifestyle Reasoning in return Considerations among British Pakistanis


This article discusses the growing popularity of lifestyle reasoning in return considerations among Pakistani migrants and their children in Britain. Although lifestyle arguments are by no means new to scholarship on return migration, I argue that British Pakistanis’ settlement history has led to return reasoning beyond purely economic considerations. Changes in status, power, and position, with respect to both countries of origin and settlement, have translated to a more confident capacity to aspire, and therefore to think along lifestyle considerations, whether the decision is to settle or to return. Lifestyle reasoning can therefore to be considered a sign of British Pakistanis’ change in confidence about their position in the country of settlement.

Policy Implications
  • If the UK wants to engage with Pakistani returnees, it needs to recognize the variety of returns beyond the economic: political, lifestyle and relationship returns are all present in the array of typologies enacted by British Pakistanis
  • Any UK policy about return should consider that both pull and push factors influence return decisions, and those are articulated around economic, political, lifestyle, and relationship considerations.
  • Policy makers should consider lifestyle return reasoning a symptom of the maturation of British Pakistani citizenship in the country of settlement, rather than systematic evidence of their alienation.

Full citation: Bolognani, M. (2014), The Emergence of Lifestyle Reasoning in return Considerations among British Pakistanis. International Migration. doi: 10.1111/imig.12153

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