Project description: The aim of this doctoral research is to explore contemporary migration and remittance sending behaviors and their impacts on socio-professional integration of migrants from Pakistan and India in Finland and Sweden. The research assumes that distinct groups of migrants carry dissimilar cultural obligations upon migration, which emphasizes the need to compare migrants from different places of origin. As for the integration process, it is argued that acquiring a job to earn and send money back home promotes initial integration but minimizes consumption and the search for support from various compatriots tends to weaken the integration process in the long run. Migrants pushed by stronger obligations to remit spend a fairly longer time doing odd jobs than those with mild compulsions. Not pushed to work longer hours in unskilled jobs, the latter can dedicate more time to finishing their University degrees, learning the language, and eventually turn out to become an entrepreneur or acquire a professional job. The empirical data collection entails participant observations and semi-structured interviews in Malmö and Stockholm in Sweden and Helsinki and Turku in Finland. The primary foci of this research are those migrants who entered on a student visa.
This multidisciplinary research addresses an understudied aspect of migrant behaviour, both in Finland and in neighbouring Sweden, namely the relationship between remittance sending and migrant integration. The study asks, who really benefits from migration. Is it the migrant himself/herself or the relatives of the migrant back home who receive the bulk of remittances? The research fills theoretical and empirical gaps regarding different migrant groups' behaviour in remittance vs. integration.