Transnational migration and the commodification of eldercare in urban Ghana

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16 Scopus citations


Over the past 20 years, organizations to provide commercial nursing services, mainly to the sick and debilitated elderly, have sprung up in Accra, Ghana. This article assesses the degree to which transnational migration has generated social changes in ageing at the level of everyday practices. It argues that a range of social actors differently involved in transnational migration has created and sustained a market for home nursing agencies in Ghana through diverse processes involving the imagination of care work abroad, complex negotiations between the elderly at home and their anxious children abroad, increased financial resources among the middle class and the evaluations of western eldercare services by return and current migrants. These dynamics illustrate the complexity of the role of transnational migration in generating social change and highlight the significance of the needs of local families and the role of the imagination in shaping social remittances from abroad.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-556
Number of pages15
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


  • Ghana
  • Transnational migration
  • eldercare
  • markets
  • social remittances


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