Migration: Motivations

Douglas S. Massey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


The motivations for human migration are diverse, but can generally be classified under five basic rubrics: material improvement, risk management, symbolic gratification, social connection, and threat evasion. Most theoretical work in recent decades has focused on motivations connected with material improvement, risk management, and social connection. Less attention has been paid to symbolic gratification and threat evasion. Recent work has suggested the latter motivation may have become increasingly salient in the twenty-first century given global climate change and rising civil violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


  • Cultural capital environment
  • Migration
  • Migration theory
  • Motivations
  • Neoclassical economics
  • New economics of labor migration
  • Social capital
  • Violence


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