On the move in search of health and care: Circular migration and family conflict amongst older Turkish immigrants in Germany

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This study focuses on circular migration amongst older Turkish immigrants to investigate two main questions: (1) How do perceived health and available healthcare systems in Turkey and Germany determine the structure of circular migration? (2) How is eldercare shaped by intergenerational conflict and exchange relations amongst older immigrants, their adult children in Germany, and their extended families in Turkey? Through the analysis of 40 in-depth interviews, this study finds that while Turkey offers healthier physical, psychological, and religious options, older circular migrants are more drawn to Germany because they perceive its healthcare system to be superior. Furthermore, contrary to conventional accounts, eldercare has mostly been navigated through intergenerational conflict and exchange relations, instead of family solidarity or traditional filial roles, and these conflicts and exchange principles around eldercare regulate family living arrangements across the two countries. In short, older Turkish immigrants encounter unique challenges in both their home and host countries, which promulgates their circular migration.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Circular migration
  • Eldercare
  • Germany
  • Perceived health
  • Turkish immigrants


  • Psychology
  • Demography, Population, and Ecology

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