The City Connection

Migration and Family Interdependence in the Philippines
Lillian Trager
Foreword by T. G. McGee
Evaluates migration in light of the migrant's social network


In the rural Philippines, a scarcity of resources and opportunities has made migration to urban areas one part of family and household strategies for mobility and survival.  The City Connection examines the ways in which families form networks of maintenance and support that span rural and urban areas.  Based on Lillian Trager’s observation of and interviews with persons both in Dagupan City and in their rural Philippine hometowns, The City Connection focuses on the stories of individual migrants and their families, setting these stories within the context of regional, social, economic, and cultural forces.  Trager examines how households use their resources, connections, and information in the effort to make often minimal incomes slightly less minimal, and demonstrates how the continuing and complex interactions between socioeconomic situation, cultural values, and decisions and behavior of migrants and their families result in patterns of migration and continuing family ties.


"... an important addition to migration and household studies.  It is, in a sense, a cautionary tale; a warning to planners who use macrostatistics... that they need to put flesh on this data by studies such as this of Trager's.  It will certainly lead to a significant reevaluation of migration studies and the conclusions that are drawn from them."
—T.G. McGee, Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia

"... a valuable addition to Philippine ethnography and to our knowledge of the processes and consequences of rural-urban migration in the third world."
—Norbert Dannhaeuser, Texas A & M University

"... a book of intrinsic interest and lasting import."
—Janet Abu-Lughod, New School for Social Research

Lillian Trager is associate professor of anthropology and chair of the Department of Sociology-Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 240pp.
  • 9 B&W photographs, 3 maps and 8 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1989
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06390-1

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  • $27.95 U.S.