A3 Book chapter
What About ‘Expatriate Children’? Child-Level Perspective on Self-Initiated Expatriation of Finns Abroad

List of Authors: Anu Warinowski
Publication year: 2019
Book title *: Global Mobility of Highly Skilled People. Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Self-initiated Expatriation
Title of series: International Perspectives on Migration
Number in series: 16
ISBN: 978-3-319-95055-6
eISBN: 978-3-319-95056-3
ISSN: 2214-9805


Expatriate and self-initiated expatriate (SIE) research has been
individual-centred and under-explored at the family level, especially
regarding children of expatriates. This chapter brings a child-level
perspective into the self-initiated expatriation in a Finnish context.
In this, children are considered alongside the novel concept of
‘expatriate children’. An interdisciplinary approach is used that
combines expatriate and migration research with childhood study and
educational research perspectives. With psychological adjustment,
sociocultural adaptation and cultural identity in expatriation and
repatriation contexts, the main research question is whether there are
differences between children whose parents are SIEs compared with
assigned expatriates (AE). Also, the experiences of the children of SIEs
are examined. For this phenomenological analysis, the children’s
experiences are viewed as emotions, behaviour and identity. A
mixed-method approach was used involving survey data gathered from
parents (333 children with 202 families) and interview data gathered
from eight children. Two case studies of the children of SIEs are
represented. For the children’s adaptation, the family is more
significant than the expatriate’s work. From the children’s perspective,
self-initiated expatriation can be quite similar to assigned
expatriation. This holds for psychological adjustment as well as
sociocultural adaptation. Differences between SIEs and AEs were
discovered, as they relate to the cultural identity of their children.
Both experiential similarities and differences were found in the
children’s subjective experiences. This study focused on the children of
SIEs to broaden our understanding of the self-initiated expatriation of
highly skilled individuals.

Last updated on 2019-19-07 at 19:22