British and Japanese international retirement migration and creative responses to health and care challenges: A Bricolage perspective

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Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Notre Dame Seishin University
  • Kyoto University


Most research on international retirement migration has focused on the Western context and the motivations and lifestyle choices of migrants when they are healthy. This paper instead explores how British retirees in Spain and Japanese retirees in Malaysia respond to declining health and increasing care needs through bricolage as they begin to ‘age in place’. The paper combines qualitative interviews, focus groups and observations collected by the authors from 215 British and Japanese international retirement migrants. We focus on two key types of bricolage behaviour: ‘within-system bricolage’ undertaken by migrants to help them access and navigate existing health and care systems; and ‘added-to-system bricolage’ that is enacted to fill gaps in health and care provision. Our analysis suggests that IRMs engage in ‘transnational care bricolage’ by combining multiple economic, social and legal resources across local and transnational spaces to address their health and care needs.


Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalComparative Migration Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2021