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Josiane Le Gall

Because of the longer life expectancy, today’s families are characterized by the coexistence of generations that used to follow one another. This evolution of the family legitimizes the considerable growth of research on intergenerational exchanges. In addition, many kinship surveys tend to emphasize that the intergenerational dimension is neither devalued nor incompatible with the construction of individualities (eg, Dandurand and Ouellette 1992, Godbout and Charbonneau 1996, Bengston 2001, Finch and Mason 1993, Attias-Donfut 1995, Pitrou 1992). Among immigrant populations, however, there are far fewer analyses of permanence and transformations in intergenerational patterns of family relationships, and they focus mainly on the parent/child dyad. In fact, although family ties have been an essential theme that has emerged in recent decades in social research, the diverse family realities of immigrants remain little known (Wanner, Lerch and Fibbi, 2005, Kofman, 2004; Laaroussi, 2001). However, the importance of the family in the different phases of the migratory process has long been recognized, as it appears to be the space where migration and settlement are usually organized in a new country (Kofman, 2004).