National cultural capital as out of reach for transnationally mobile Israeli professional families – making a ‘return home’ fraught

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The potentiality of converting capitals in new national fields following migration has been the focus of a number of studies. Another, much smaller, literature examines experiences of return migration. In this paper, we follow 15 Israeli families (where both mothers and children have been interviewed) who have been globally mobile for professional reasons. We examine cultural capital accumulation strategies for the children and how these facilitate the occupation of advantageous social positions while abroad. Having returned to Israel, partly due to the COVID pandemic, the national cultural capital the families have so actively cultivated in their children is evaluated as not authentic enough. Meanwhile, the cosmopolitan cultural capital that has been so valorised abroad, is not recognised as something the children can draw on to position themselves either. The paper contributes to the study of return migration, with a unique focus on globally mobile families returning ‘home’. We also examine how national cultural capital is conceived and differentially assessed as families move from a more transnational space to that of their home country.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ID: 328853552