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Migration and Empire$
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Marjory Harper and Stephen Constantine

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199250936.001.0001

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The Homecoming Migrant

The Homecoming Migrant

(p.306) 11 The Homecoming Migrant
Migration and Empire

Marjory Harper

Stephen Constantine

Oxford University Press

Substantial numbers of empire migrants, to all destinations, returned ‘home’. For some, including indentured and other non‐white migrants, return was the always‐intended outcome, especially if the accumulation of wealth had been their principal objective. The successful invested their gains in material goods and perhaps higher social status. But among homecoming migrants were the disappointed, including defeated ‘remittance men’, unlucky gold prospectors, impoverished indentured workers, and those who, having fallen foul of overseas authorities by criminal behaviour or dependence on public relief, had been deported. Homesickness, even among long‐term settlers (and not only women), plus family problems also prompted return migration. Reception back home was not always warm. Some returners became serial migrants or transilients, a practice which with easier transport became increasingly common; as has also become ‘roots tourism’, temporary return visits by former migrants and their descendants to (sometimes imagined) places of origin.

Keywords:   deportation, gold prospectors, indentured workers, remittance men, return migrants, roots tourism, serial migrants, transilients

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