Embedding remittances : a methodological note on financial diaries in Nicaragua
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie
University of Antwerp
In response to the methodological challenge of embedding remittances to counter domin ant development discourses, this paper aims to contribute to remittances research by discussing financial diaries in Muy Muy, Nicaragua. Based on longitudinal and integrated quantitative and qualitative tracking of migrant household practices, financial diaries facilitate explorations of the social and contextual dimensions of remittances that may help account for their heterogeneous character. In particular, the paper highlights the partiality of diaries as well as the translocal interdependency and irregularity of household practices, providing clues for integrating remittances instead of isolating them as neutral instrumental transfers. It uses the example of household debt to further anchor remittances locally, illus trating how financial diaries can expose the changes and considerations that are part of household practices, including remittances. The paper concludes by suggesting that financial diaries need a decisively qualitative framework and may be particularly useful in contexts characterised by multiple migrations.