Return to Sender is an anthropological account of how Peruvian emigrants raise and remit money and what that activity means for themselves and for their home communities. The book draws on first-hand ethnographic data from North and South America, Europe, and Japan to describe how Peruvians remit to relatives at home, collectively raise money to organize development projects in their regions of origin, and invest savings in business and other activities.
Karsten Paerregaard challenges unqualified approval of remittances as beneficial resources of development for home communities and important income for home countries. He finds a more complex situation in which remittances can also create dependency and deprivation.
List of Tables and Figures
1. The Social Life of Remittances
2. Peru: Migration and Remittances
3. Compromiso: The Family Commitment
4. Voluntad: The Community Commitment
5. Superación: The Personal Commitment
6. After Remittances
Karsten Paerregaard is a professor in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Gothenburg. He was a fellow at the Wilson Center in 2009-10.
"A detailed and nuanced ethnographic ‘life history’ account both of migrants and their remittances from a single sending region, in this case, Peru.” —Linda Seligmann, George Mason University
"Very valuable, extensive, and comprehensive research.” —Manuel Orozco, senior associate and director of remittances and development at the Inter-American Dialogue