Sociocultural Implication of International Migration
- 1. Assumptions
Labor migrants of Nepal shares a majority of their dream in the destination countries where they, along meeting new economic opportunities foster immunity towards new social and cultural changes. Since the massive labor immigration of Nepalese in the middle east gulf countries, researches shows that remittances shares one tenth share of the Nepal’s Gross Domestic Product but economists, who dominates the discourse of migration and remittance, often fail to address the socio-cultural changes seen in the home countries. In the present global context, when most of the developmental theories which explain the developmental process interms of economic variables are argued to be incomplete without the inclusion of social and cultural context, a small analytical addition to the discourse from socio-cultural perspective is expected to complement the rationale of the discourse in long-term basis, nevertheless the development discourse always evolve and gets reproduced throughout the time line.
- 2. Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to dig up the socio-cultural issues generated due to the global immigration after their exit and entry to their home country. Being specific, this paper outlines major impacts of the labor immigration of Nepal in social and cultural level. This paper is aimed at bringing out the realities of Nepalese families, often belonging to socially excluded and rural communities, before and after their family members were reluctant to land in foreign cities in search of better earnings and livelihood.
- 3. Concepts
The key concepts of this paper is the “changes”- those seen or to-be-seen in the Nepalese society after one or two of the family members leave the country for better economic opportunities and return to their home town after finishing their labor period in abroad. The family upbringing, the societal perception of the family, the economic and the intellectual growth gained from the migration and sometimes the disruptive consequences inevitable due to the immigration are some of the areas that this paper focuses on.
I think, the discourse on socio-cultural impact of returned immigrants will help the developing countries like Nepal to formulate the appropriate policies to support its citizen and prevent the future crisis. One of the 10 poorest countries in the world, Nepal whose budget comprises a major share of remittances from those labor, should respond to its contributor with accountability and helping eyes rather than sidelining the issue and invite the unseen crisis of returned immigrants on the context when it is just treading along the transition period. There might so much social issues unexplored in this globalized context when every act of us has direct or indirect share in the socio-cultural transformation. These unexplored issues which are different than economic variables should be accessed at macro and micro level so as to come up with the genuine sense out of the mess.
- 4. Information
Research on the subject area shows that the disruptive consequences are bore by the families whose member even after returning with monetary capital face challenges in integrating and adjusting with his/her own family and society. Feminization of migrants workers is said to have promoted equity in decision making process in the family while the subsequent desecrate in the population of the home country due to delayed fertility is another field of enquiry. For example, among the south Asian countries, Sri Lanka experiences the steepest decline in the fertility due to feminization of the international labor market.
Also, there are senior citizens who have become the major victims of the immigration process and their abandonment has created emotional tensions among psychological discourse. Other triggered issues are family breakdown, fragmentation of social networks and psychosocial stress- The feelings of rejection followed by many suicide cases and criminal involvement.
- 5. Questions
How does the society changes in the global context of labor migration? What are the pros and cons interms of socio-cultural values at macro and micro level? Will the process of remittances flow and its potential to enlarge GDP size compensate the lethal social consequences that might took generations to recover? Doesn’t the nation have accountability towards the international migrants whose money has considerable share in the country’s capital? How will the social adjustments and family integrations issues are addressed by the nation when the nation itself is in the political crisis? How to bring preferences over the social impact of international labor migration through academic research? Who can play effective role in bringing that change? Does any developmental theory has stake in providing meaning explanation to the vulnerability and provide effective guideline to the prosperity and wellness. Will the future Nepal sustain if the present trend of ignorance and isolation towards returned migrants continues?
- 6. Point of View
I disagree with the dominant developmental theories that explain countries economic prosperity interms of monetary values and financial variables. the national sentiments, cultural diversities, ethnic harmony and social values that the country bear carries even greater weight than those economic resources. Economic prosperity doesn’t create the cultural identity of anyone especially in this westernized context where people in the name of being modern are being swept away by the western values and practices.
I want to stress the need of proper study of social impact of labor migration and its proper treatment to address the present as well as future crisis. The socially excluded section that sum up the majority of the migrants should be compensated with additional incentives and arrangements so as to motivate them for national development in coherence with social adjustment and cultural identity.
- 7. Implications and consequences
Ignorance of impact of labor migrants after they returned to their home country can create uncontrollable difficulty to the administration. The conflict and disintegration in the family might transcends into societal conflict and national insurgency. While at the same time, there are views that regard the social adjustment and progress of the returned migrant follow the path of prosperity automatically without any interference from state or society. The point of disagreement is that today’s society is different from the traditional societies where capital flow was restrained within the nation. Today the capital flow takes place interms of labor and that comprise the significant volume of the economic and social capital of the country. People who bring with them money to heir national also bring knowledge and skills which can be mobilized to built the home country. Investment policies of the country if directed towards the social arrangements of the returned migrants then it can facilitate domestic progress cum internationalization of the national assets.
At last but not the least, the social assets brought by the migrants to the home country equally, if not more measure the long-term real development potentialities than economic variables that sum up the national budgets.
- 8. Inferences and Interpretations
There are many American and European stories that tell us about the social impact of international migration and their anticipated hazards under unfavorable context like that of during World War I and II. But Nepal, a poor developing country whose economic fluctuation doesn’t have significant impact in South Asian market, can be well assessed interms of social variables to explain its contribution to international labor market. Hence, thus the developmental process we understand earlier interms of economic variable now can get additional social framework to logically explain the role and impact of migration in and out of the national boundaries.