Transnational Multisited Qualitative Longitudinal Research in Investigating Social Remittances and Change

  • Izabela Grabowska
  • Michał P. Garapich
  • Ewa Jaźwińska
  • Agnieszka Radziwinowiczówna
Part of the Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship book series (MDC)


This chapter analyses the methodological considerations taken into account in our study. Specifically transnational multisited longitudinal research is taken into account as an underexplored approach in migration studies. This relates to repeating ethnographic visits to the sites and repeated in-depth interviews with information-rich individuals both in the UK and in Poland, filtered and selected from a wider set of interviews with local observants, return migrants and circulating migrants. The qualitative panel helped us to position social remittances in relation to time and space. Only through time were we able to discern the different stages and modes of social remitting and the roles of individuals in this process.


Return Migrant Migratory Experience Local Observer Case Site Labour Office 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Amelina, A. (2010). Searching for an appropriate research strategy on transnational migration: The logic of multisited research and the advantage of the cultural interferences approach. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(1). Accessed November 27, 2015, from http://www.qualitative
  2. Basch, L., Glick Schiller, N., & Szanton Blanc, C. (1994). Nations unbound: Transnational projects, postcolonial predicaments, and deterritorialized nation-states. Langhorne, PA: Gordon and Breach.Google Scholar
  3. Beck, U., & Sznaider, N. (2006). Unpacking cosmopolitanism for the social sciences: A research agenda. The British Journal of Sociology, 57(1), 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bishop, L., & Neale, B. (2012). Data management for qualitative longitudinal researchers, timescapes methods guides series, guide no. 17. Accessed November 28, 2015, from
  5. Boccagni, P. (2014). From the multisited to the in-between: Ethnography as a way of delving into migrants’ transnational relationships. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 19(1), 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bytheway, B. (2012). The use of diaries in qualitative longitudinal research, timescapes methods guides series, guide no. 7. Accessed November 28, 2015, from
  7. Elrick, T. (2008). The influence of migration on origin communities: Insights from Polish migrations to the west. Europe–Asia Studies, 60(9), 1503–1517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Emmel, N. (2013). Sampling and choosing cases in qualitative research: A realist approach. Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington, DC: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Emmel, N., & Hughes, K. (2012). Sampling in qualitative longitudinal research: A realist approach, timescapes methods guides series, guide no. 2. Accessed November 28, 2015, from
  10. Faist, T. (2000). The volume and dynamics of international migration and transnational social spaces. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Faist, T. (2016). Social process in local transformations: Towards a conclusion. Population, Space and Place, 22(4), 396–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fox, K. (2010). Watching the English: The hidden rules of English behaviour. London: Hodder.Google Scholar
  13. Fox, K. (2014). Watching the English: The hidden rules of English behaviour. London: Hodder.Google Scholar
  14. Grannovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harris, C. (1987). The individual and society: A processual view. In A. Bryman, B. Bytheway, P. Allatt, & T. Keil (Eds.), Rethinking the life cycle (pp. 17–29). Macmillan: Basingstoke.Google Scholar
  16. Krings, T., Moriarty, E., Wickham, J., & Bobek, A. (2013). New mobilities in Europe: Polish migration to Ireland post-2004. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lazarsfeld, P. F. (1993). On social research and its language. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  18. Levitt, P. (1998). Social remittances: Migration driven local-level forms of cultural diffusion. The International Migration Review, 32(4), 926–948.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Levitt, P. (2001). The transnational villagers. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  20. Levitt, P., & Glick Schiller, N. (2004). Conceptualizing simultaneity: A transnational social field perspective on society. International Migration Review, 38(3), 1002–1039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Marcus, G. E. (1995). Ethnography in/of the world system: The emergence of multisited ethnography. Annual Review of Anthropology, 24(1), 95–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mason, J. (2006). Mixing methods in a qualitatively driven way. Qualitative Research, 6(1), 9–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mazzucato, V. (2008). Simultaneity and networks in transnational migration: Lessons learned from a simultaneous matched sample methodology. In J. DeWind & J. Holdaway (Eds.), Migration and development within and across borders: Research and policy perspectives on internal and international migration (pp. 69–100). Geneva: International Organization for Migration.Google Scholar
  24. McLeod, J., & Thomson, R. (2009). Researching social change: Qualitative approaches. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mills, C. W. (1959). The sociological imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Neale, B. (2012a). Qualitative longitudinal research: An introduction to the timescapes methods guides series, timescapes methods guides series, guide no. 1. Accessed November 28, 2015, from
  27. Neale, B. (2012b). Timescapes. An ESRC qualitative longitudinal study. Changing relationships ad identities through the life course. Study overview. RES 347 25 0003. University of Leeds. Accessed November 28, 2015, from
  28. Neale, B., & Flowerdew, J. (2003). Time, texture and childhood: The contours of longitudinal qualitative research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 6(3), 189–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Patrick, R. (2012). Recruiting & sustaining sample populations over time: Possibilities and challenges, timescapes methods guides series, guide no. 3. Accessed November 28, 2015, from
  30. Portes, A. (2001). Introduction: The debates and significance of immigrant transnationalism. Global Networks, 1(3), 181–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pries, L. (2008). Die Transnationalisierung der sozialen Welt: Sozialraume jenseits von Nationalgesellschaften. Suhrkamp: Frankfurt am Main.Google Scholar
  32. Putnam, R. D. (2015). Our kids: The American dream in crisis. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  33. Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  34. Saldana, J. (2003). Longitudinal qualitative research: Analyzing change through time. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press.Google Scholar
  35. Thomas, W. I., & Znaniecki, F. (1918). The Polish peasant in Europe and America: Monograph of an immigrant group. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  36. Thomson, R., & Holland, J. (2003). Hindsight, foresight and insight: The challenges of longitudinal qualitative research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 6(3), 233–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Vertovec, S. (1999). Conceiving and researching transnationalism. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 22(2), 447–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. White, A. (2011a). Polish families and migration since EU accession. Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  39. Wimmer, A., & Glick Schiller, N. (2003). Methodological nationalism, the social sciences, and the study of migration: An essay in historical epistemology. International Migration Review, 37(3), 576–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Izabela Grabowska
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michał P. Garapich
    • 3
  • Ewa Jaźwińska
    • 2
  • Agnieszka Radziwinowiczówna
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Social Sciences and HumanitiesWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Centre of Migration ResearchUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland
  3. 3.Social SciencesUniversity of RoehamptonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations