Swedish Retirement Migrant Communities in Spain: Privatization, informalization and moral economy filling transnational care gaps

Anna Gavanas 1
  • 1 Linköping University, , Linköping, Sweden


This article analyses the Swedish international retirement migrants (IRMs) in Spain and their consumption of domestic and eldercare services. In a transnational position and in the absence of stable structures and institutions (i.e., family, state and market provision), the IRMs are a part of liquid communities of care. It is argued that between themselves, and in relation to entrepreneurs and workers, the Swedish retirement migrants are part of a moral economy of care, reflecting the collective and individual consequences of the migration - as well as the labour market and welfare context in Spain. To IRMs, the moral economies mitigate the changing conditions of family and welfare in a transnational context. Solidarity and care among IRMs, as well as personalized relations with workers and intermediaries become even more important when relatives are physically absent and the Swedish welfare services (which are traditionally more extensive than the Spanish equivalent) are inaccessible. Therefore, the IRMs partake in a moral economy making gaps and inequalities more manageable, while creating coping strategies in the face of unaffordable market solutions.

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