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Lindley, A. (2009). The Early-Morning Phonecall: Remittances from a Refugee Diaspora Perspective. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies35(8), pp.1315-1334.


Remittances are an important strand in the relationship between migration and socio-economic change in migrants’ countries of origin and there is growing interest in their role in conflict and post-conflict countries. Yet little is known about remittances from the diaspora perspective, and much less about refugees remitting. This paper makes three contributions, based on analysis of survey and ethnographic evidence on the remittance experiences of Somali refugees in London. First, it argues that the diaspora perspective is a critical element in understanding remittance processes, and that remitting can have substantial repercussions for migrants. Second, it argues that, just as migrants are not ‘just labour’, remittances are not ‘just money’, pointing to the importance of analysing the social texture of the remittance process. Third, it argues that the nature of forced migration may shape remitting in ways which merit further exploration.


  • Introduction
  • Remittances Viewed from the Diaspora
  • The Somali Context and Research Approach
  • Remittance Micro-Dynamics
  • Discussion and Conclusion