Family, obligations, and migration: the role of kinship in Cameroon
Demographic Research, 16:13, 413–440 (2007)
The aim of this paper is to investigate the influence of family and kin networks on the
individual decision to migrate. The study is based on qualitative ethnographic data collected during field research in Cameroon and shows the considerable impact of the
extended family on the migrant’s decision to leave Cameroon for Germany. Migrants
do not necessarily set out to pursue individual goals. They are often delegated to leave by authority figures in their extended family. The individual is part of an informal reciprocal system of exchange, which is based on trust, has social consequences, and includes duties and responsibilities for both sides.
Keywords: Cameroon, decision making, international migration, remittances