The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Loretta Baldassar

Prof Loretta Baldassar

Anthropology and Sociology

Contact details
Anthropology and Sociology
The University of Western Australia (M257)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 7232
+61 8 6488 1062
Personal homepage
Room 2.26, Social Sciences Building, Perth campus
BSc PhD W.Aust.
Loretta Baldassar is Professor in the Discipline Group of Anthropology and Sociology at UWA and an Adjunct Principal Research Fellow at Monash University. Her research and teaching areas include migration, transnational families and Australian society. Loretta initiated migration studies in Anthropology when she became a staff member in 1995. Since then she has contributed to the development of this research and teaching into a core area of expertise at UWA through several initiatives. These include co-founding the Migration, Mobilities and Belonging MoB Network and the WA Migration Research Network (MRN), as well as the funding and appointment of a Cassamarca Lectureship in Italian migration studies, an ARC Linkage Postdoctoral Fellowship on Italian migration in WA and an EU Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship on Transnational Families. Loretta has supervised a steady stream of postgraduate research students working on migration related topics. She is currently working on two ARC Discovery projects: Ageing and New Media and Mobile Transitions.
Key research
Loretta is currently working on two Australia Research Council Discovery Projects.
Ageing and New Media: A New Analysis of Older Australians’ Support Networks in collaboration with Raelene Wilding (Sociology, Social Inquiry, La Trobe University). This three-year project (2016-2018) examines how support networks for older people are affected by their mobility and the dispersal of their family, friends and care services. The project aim is to highlight the current and potential role that new media might play in fostering local, distant and virtual support networks of older Australians. This will help to update both aged care policy and service delivery. The research uses participant observation and ethnographic life history interviews to compare experiences of diverse older migrants and non-migrants in both urban and regional locations, at home and in institutional care. Access to social networks and a capacity to belong and engage with other people is now understood as a significant indicator of healthy ageing. Importantly, the increasing uptake of new communication technologies means that social activities, social interactions and a sense of belonging are no longer limited to local, proximate networks and communities. What remains unknown, and will be addressed by this project, is the role of distant and virtual support networks in the lives of older Australians, and the potential and actual role of new media in older people’s experiences and uses of effective support networks.
Mobile Transitions: Understanding the Effects of Transnational Mobility on Youth Transitions in collaboration with Anita Harris (Deakin) and Shanthi Robertson (UWS). Young people increasingly migrate abroad for work and education and Australia is a significant hub for sending and receiving. Much of this mobility is encouraged by current migration and education policies and is expected to provide youth with enhanced competitive skills. This project examines transnational mobility amongst young people moving both in and out of Australia in order to understand its actual effects on their economic opportunities, social and familial ties, capacity for citizenship and transitions to adulthood. It charts how youth from various cultural backgrounds productively manage mobility and develop economic, social and civic benefits – for themselves and the broader community.

Book Authored – research
Baldassar, L., Baldock, C., & Wilding, R. (2007) Families Caring Across Borders: Migration, Aging and Transnational Caregiving. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Baldassar, L. & Pesman, R. (2005) From Paesani to Global Italians: Veneto Migrants in Australia. Crawley, University of Western Australia Press. [Italian translation published (2004) I Veneti in Australia: sfide di storia contemporanea. Padua: ANEA]. Nominated for the Victorian Premier’s Regional History Award
Baldassar, L. (2001) Visits Home: migration experiences between Italy and Australia. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. Winner of the 2001 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, Community Relations Section.

Book Edited – research
Baldassar, L., Bressan, M., Johanson, G & McAuliffe, N. (eds) (2015) Chinese Migration to Europe: Prato, Italy and Beyond. Palgrave MacMillan.
Kneebone, S., Stevens, D., & Baldassar, L. (eds) (2014) Conflicting Identities: Refugee Protection and the Role of Law Routledge.
Baldassar, L & Merla, L. (eds) (2014) Transnational Families, Migration and the Circulation of Care: understanding mobility and absence in family life. Routledge Transnationalism Series. Paperback edition published in 2016.
Baldassar, L & Gabaccia, D. (eds) (2011) Intimacy and Italian Migration Gender and Domestic Lives in a Mobile World, New York: Fordham University Press.

Journal Special Issue, guest editor
Baldassar, L., Wilding, R., & Boccagni, P., (forthcoming, 2017) Ageing in Place in a mobile world: new media and older people’s support networks. Special Issue by invitation, Transnational Social Review. A Social Work Journal
Nare, L., Walsh, K., & Baldassar, L., (forthcoming 2017) Ageing in Transnational Contexts: Transforming Everyday Practices and Identities in Later Life" Special Issue of Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.
Baldassar, L; Nedelcu, M, Merla, L & Wilding R, (2016) Migration and New Media: ‘being together’ and ‘co-presence’ in transnational family life. Special Issue Journal of Global Networks. 16(2) 131-256
Baldassar, L. & Boccagni, P (2015) 'Moving Feelings: Emotions and the Process of Migration', Special Issue Emotions, Space and Society Vol 16:1-146.
Merla, L. & Baldassar, L. (2010) ‘Transnational care dynamics: between emotions and rationality’/‘Les dynamiques de soin transnationales : entre émotions et considérations économiques’. Special issue of Journal Recherches sociologiques et anthropologiques: Vol XLI, No. 1.
Skrbis, Z., Baldassar, L., & Poynting, S. (2007) ‘Social sciences and the question of generations’ in Negotiating Belonging: Migration and Generations, Special Issue of Journal of Intercultural Studies. 28(3): 261-269.
Harney, N & Baldassar, L. (2007) ‘Tracking Transnationalism: migrancy and its futures’, Special Issue of Journal of Migration Studies, 33(2): 189-198.
Harney, N & Baldassar, L. (2006) ‘Italian Diasporas Share the Neighbourhood’, Special Issue of Journal of Modern Italy, 11(1).
Baldassar, L. (1999) National and Cultural Identities, Special Issue of The Australian Journal of Social Issues, 34(4):291-299.

Journal Articles – refereed in scholarly journal
Sala, E., & Baldassar, L (2017) "Leaving Family to Return to Family: Roots Migration Among Second Generation Italian-Australians" Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology
Baldassar, L & Raffaetà, R. (2017) “It’s Complicated, isn’t it? Citizenship and Ethnic Identity in a Mobile World” Ethnicities Journal DOI: 10.1177/1468796816684148
Baldassar, L., Pyke, J., & Ben Mosche, D., (2017) ‘The Vietnamese Diaspora in Australia: Intra-group tensions, transnational ties and ‘victim’ status’ in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Baldassar, L., Ferrero, L. & Portis, L. (2017) “More like a daughter than an employee”: the kinning process between paid carers and their elderly employers. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.
McKenzie, L & Baldassar, L (2016). ‘Missing friendships: Absent local–international student ties at an Australian university’, Higher Education. DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0073-1
McKenzie, L., & Baldassar, L (2016) Studying Internationalization on Campus: Lessons from an Undergraduate Qualitative Research Project. Sage Research Methods Cases Education.
Baldassar, L & McKenzie, L (2016) Beyond "Just Being There": Teaching Internationalization at Home in Two Qualitative Methods Units Journal of Teaching Sociology, 44(2):84-95
Baldassar, L. (2016) ‘De-demonising distance in mobile family lives: co-presence, care circulation and polymedia as vibrant matter’ Global Networks, 16: 145–163.

Book Chapters (refereed):

Baldassar, L (2017) Transnational migration, families and identities: Australian perspectives in Boese, M & Marotta, V (eds) Critical reflections on Migration, ‘Race’ and Multiculturalism: Australia in a global context, Routledge
Baldassar, L., Kilkey, M., Merla, L. & Wilding, R. (2017), Transnational families, care and wellbeing, Handbook of Migration and Health, Eldward Elgar Publishing
Baldassar, L (2017) ‘Transformations in Transnational Ageing: A Century of Caring among Italians in Australia’ in ‘Parin Dossa & Catie Coe (eds) Transnational Aging and Kin-Work Rutgers University Press, Series on Global Perspectives on Aging.
Baldassar, L (2017) ‘Who Cares? The Unintended Consequences of Policy for Migrant Families’ In Tittensor, D & Fethi, M (eds) Women and Migration in the Global South. Palgrave
Baldassar, L (2016) ‘Mobilities and Communication Technologies: Transforming Care in Family Life’ in Kilkey, M. & Palenga-Moolenbeck, E. (eds) Family Live in an Age of Migration and Mobility: Global Perspectives through the Life Course. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Pp19-42
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Editorial Board Member, Regional Editor for Australasia, Journal of Global Networks

Board Member, Research Committee 31, Sociology of Migration, International Sociological Association.

2014-2016, Discipline Chair, Anthropology and Sociology, UWA

2009-2011, Director, Monash University Prato Centre.

2007–2009 co-convener Migration, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism Thematic Group of The Australian Sociological Association.

2005–2009 Chair, Australasian Centre for Italian Studies.

2007– Chair, UWA Press Board.
Future research
My main area of research is in transnational migration studies, with a particular focus on Italian migration to Australia. I also conduct research on so-called 'second generation' migrants and consider issues of intergenerational conflict and the transmission of culture. Recently, I have begun to research and write about second generation Chinese migrants in Prato, Italy. I am also currently conducting a research project called Intercultural Learning at Home (ILH), which is about promoting internationalisation on campus.
Previous Research
In 2000 I began an ARC funded project together with Professor Cora Baldock (Sociology, Murdoch University) and Dr Raelene Wilding (La Trobe) that examines the impact of transnational migration on care-giving relations between adult children and their parents. The specific question addressed in the study is the extent to which transnational migrants are able to give care and support to their geographically distant parents as they age. The study examines humanitarian, family reunion and business migrants and draws case study examples from migrants and their families in Singapore, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand and refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families in Iran.

In 2004 I led an ARC Linkage Project, Vite Italiane, which examined the history of Italian migration to Western Australia and resulted in the development of an Italian migration archive at the Battye Library as well as a website:

In 2008 I joined an interdisciplinary research team to examine the ‘Australian Diaspora’ on an ARC Linkage Grant, with a particular focus on Italy-Australia relations, including the recent ‘new immigration’ and 457 working-holiday visa-entrants of young Italian professionals to Australia. This research built on my previous work on transnational family relationships, with a particular focus on the role of ICTs.
Funding received
Awarded grants in progress
• 2017-2021 ARC DP, Understanding the Effects of Transnational Mobility on Youth Transitions, Harris, A., (Deakin), Baldassar, L., (UWA), Robertson, S. (UWS) (2017-2021).
• 2016-2018 ARC Discovery Project, Ageing and New Media; Baldassar and Wilding.
Honours and awards
2016 OLT Teaching Award: Program than enhances student learning – Intercultural learning at home
2015 Arts Teaching and Service Awards: Project that enhances learning – Intercultural learning at home
2014 Veneti Nel Mondo Service Award (for community engagement), Veneto Government, Italy
2014 Nomination for Undergraduate Best Unit Award – Applied and Professional Practice Unit
2013-14 Australian European University Institute Fellowship
2015 Nominated for Postgraduate Supervision Award, UWA
2007 Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision Award, UWA
2006 Shortlisted for NSW Regional and Community History Award for Baldassar & Pesman, From Paesani to Global Italians, UWA Press
2005 National Italian Australian Women’s Association, Community Service Award
2002 NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Baldassar, L. Visits Home, Melbourne Uni Press.

Previous positions
Director, Monash Univeristy Prato Centre 2009-2011
Teaching in units on migration, refugees, Australian society and social inequality. Research interests include migration studies, ethnicity, second generation migrant identities, diaspora studies, Australian settler societies, multiculturalism, citizenship, Italy/the anthropology of Mediterranean societies, cross-cultural health care.


- 2013 Keynote ‘Mobilities as a new paradigm for understanding family life: issues and challenges’ Family Life in the Age of Migration and Mobility: Theory, Policy and Practice. Convenors: Prof. Helma Lutz, Dr Majella Kilkey & Dr Ewa Palenga-Möllenbeck, 16-20 September 2013 Norrköping, Sweden
- 2013 Invited Paper ‘British Migration to Australia’, Migration and Economic Crisis: Responses of Brits at home and abroad, WUN University and White Rose Collaboration Networks, Sheffield University, September 2013.
1. 2013 Invited Paper, ‘Second Generation in Prato and Perth: the politics of recognising difference’, Migration and Multiculturalism: Lessons from Europe and Australia Conference ANU Centre for European Studies (ANUCES), Friday 8 March, 2013 Conveners: Jacqueline Lo and Stefan Markowski
2. 2012 Invited Paper, Second generation Chinese in Italy, 3rd Wenzhouese Diaspora Workshop, University of Wenzhou, 17-18 October, Wenzhou, China.
3. 2012 Keynote, European Science Foundation Exploratory Workshop, Rethinking Older Age: Transnational Migration, Home and Cultures of Care, Standing Committee for Social Sciences, Department of Social Research and Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki. Co-sponsored by Academy of Finland Project ‘The Shaping of Occupational Subjectivities of Migrant Care Workers: A Multi-Sited Analysis of Glocalising Elderly Care’, August 23-34, Helsinki
4. 2012 Invited Paper, Law in the Everyday Lives of Transnational Families, International Institute for the Sociology of Law, May 24-25, Onati, Spain.
5. 2011, Keynote, International Workshop: The Everyday Life of Multi-Local Families Concepts, Methods and the Example of Post-Separation Families, German Youth Institute/ Deutsches Jugendinstitut, Munich, 20th-21st October, Germany.
6. 2011, Keynote, Università degli Studi di Cassino, Dipartimento di Filologia e Storia Convegno: L’emigrazione italiana in 150 anni di storia unitaria (titolo provvisorio), 13-14 October, Cassino, Italy.
7. 2011, Keynote, (Re-)Imagining ‘Return Migration’: Language, concepts and contexts, Sponsored by the Population Geography Research Group of the RGS-IBG. 1st CFP RGS-IBG Annual Conference, 31 August – 2 September, London.
8. 2010, Keynote, ‘Transnational families, care-giving and the intergenerational contract’ International seminar, Transnationalism from below: Migrant families and intergenerational, ICS, University of Lisbon, 13th October, Portugal.
9. 2010, Keynote, ‘Transnationalism and the Second Generation’, Diasporic and Transnational Youth Identities Seminar Series, University of Nottingham, 24 September, UK.
10. 2010, Keynote, ‘Transnational Families and the Future of Transnational Care’, Changing Families in a Changing World, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, John Macintyre Centre, University of Edinburgh, June 16-18, Scotland.
11. 2010, Lectio Magistralis, ‘Transnational Families:Definizioni e metodolgie’, Scuola Estiva di Sociologia delle Migrazioni, Genova, June 14 – 18, Italy.
12. 2010, Invited Paper, ‘Transnational Families and Care-Giving: six Study Areas’, 1st International Symposium on Wenzhouese Diasporas and the 3rd Chinese in Prato Workshop –“Diasporas Workshop: Setting a Research Agenda” Wenzhou University, 7 – 11 April, China.
13. 2009, Invited Paper, ‘Longing for kin and country: family, nostalgia and nation through the practices and processes of long distance caregiving’, Love and its Histories: Italian Perspectives, Symposium Department of History, University of Otago and The Australasian Centre for Italian Studies, University of Otago’s Auckland Centre, February 17th, New Zealand.
Current external positions
Board Member, Research Committee 31 - Migration, International Sociological Association.
Chair, Cassamarca Lectureships Committee

Useful links
In 2004 Loretta Baldassar led an ARC Linkage Project, Vite Italiane, which examined the history of Italian migration to Western Australia and resulted in the development of an Italian migration archive at the Battye Library as well as a website with useful relevant resources:

Loretta has served a terms as Chair of The Australasian Centre for Italian Studies (ACIS)and is the Chair of the Lectureships Committee;

Loretta Baldassar is also ocassional Chair and Co-founder of the W.A. Migration Research Network: of which the website provides user-friendly access to the migration research database.
New and noteworthy
Cassamarca Australia Project – one of the largest philanthropic gifts to the Humanities in Australia. Since 2000, the Cassamarca Foundation in Treviso, Italy, has invested more than $28.5 million to fund Italian Studies lectureships at nine Australian Universities.

The Cassamarca Foundation in Treviso, Italy is a private Foundation that funds cultural initiatives in Italian research worldwide. Loretta Baldassar first met the president of the Foundation, Avvocato Dino De Poli, while doing field research in Treviso for her doctoral thesis in 1990. Both Loretta’s research focus on Italian migration and her ethnic background as a second generation Italian migrant meant that she was well placed to advise Avvocato De Poli about the state of Italian Studies in Australia. The Cassmarca Australia Project developed to become one of the largest philanthropic gifts to the Humanities in Australian universities. It includes 13 full-time lectureships, annual student travel bursaries to study in Italy and funding to support the Australasian Centre for Italian studies including biennial conferences. The lectureships alone represent an increase by about 20% of academic staff in Italian studies Australia wide. UWA is the financial and legal administrative body for the Cassamarca lectureships. This position not only brings investment dollars into the university but also provides it with an opportunity to play an important role in serving Italian Studies and the Italian community throughout Australia. Departments at UWA successfully applied for three Cassamarca lectureships. One of these is a language and literature position in the Italian program, one is a joint department of History and Anthropology appointment in Italian migration studies, the only position of its kind in Australia and the third is an Associate Professorship in Classics. The other Australian universities with Cassamarca Lectureships include Swinburne University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney, the University of the Sunshine Coast, Flinders University, Monash University, Griffith University, and the University of South Australia.

Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

This Page

Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM