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"They used to go and come." A century of circular migration from a Greek Island, Mykonos 1850 to 1950

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Violetta HionidouORCiD


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This paper points to the importance of circular migration among Greek populations in nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The study focuses on the island of Mykonos. The combination of quantitative and qualitative data (oral history) provides a rounded and unexpected picture of migration patterns. A number of chronologically sequential migration destinations emerged – Southern Russia, Danube, USA and Athens – with chain migration being present in every case. Circular migration among members of the working class throughout the century was dominant and continuous irrespective of migration destination. Migration was sex and life-cycle specific and the family of origin played an explicit or implicit role in the decision to migrate of unmarried sons and daughters, particularly when the destination was Athens. In contrast wealthy migrants were mostly engaged in long-term migration. Finally, the possibility of the dominance of circular migration among other Greek populations is raised.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hionidou V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annales de Demographie Historique

Year: 2002

Volume: 2002

Issue: 2 no. 104

Pages: 51-77

ISSN (print): 0066-2062

ISSN (electronic): 1776-2774

Publisher: Editions Belin