International Council for Education, Research and Training

The Push-Pull Effect of Literature on Human Migration: A Reflection

Okey-Kalu, Ozioma J.
English Unit, General Studies Department, Federal School of Statistics, Enugu
Okorie, Okechukwu
English Unit, General Studies Department, Federal School of Statistics, Kaduna


Migration involves the movement of humans or animals from one place to another. This movement could be on temporary or permanent bases. Migration could happen when people go in search of better source of income, higher standard of living, more secured society, presence of infrastructure and so on. However, sometimes the reason people move from and to a place is not certain. This study was carried out to ascertain if literature has any role to play in people’s decisions to move from their current abode and to their destinations. The theory adopted for the study was the Push-Pull Theory of Migration. The study revealed that literature can be used to expose a society’s positive and negative way of life, propagate or negate a philosophy, affect a reader’s psychology, and so on. As a result, the researcher concludes that literature is a factor that influences migration. 

Keywords: Migration, literature, culture, causes of migration

Impact Statement

One of the problems plaguing developing countries is emigration. Young talents in developing countries migrate in droves to developed economies in search of a greener pasture. Researchers have considered economic, social, and environmental factors as the induce migration. With that, they discovered communal conflict, unemployment, natural disaster, and unfavourable climate as forces that influence migration. However, attention has not been given to how literary works can induce migration. As a result, this current study described the meaning, features, and functions of literature, which can cause it to encourage people to either emigrate or immigrate to the societies captured in literary works. It anchored its argument on the Push and Pull Theory of Migration by Ernest Ravenstein to disclose that how literary artists portray their countries and societies can either attract or repel citizens and migrants. 

Author’s Profile

Okey-Kalu, Ozioma J.

Ozioma J. Okey-Kalu is a staff of the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria, but she serves the country as a lecturer of English at Federal School of Statistics, Enugu, Nigeria. She studied her first degree in English at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria, and went further to obtain her master’s degree in English at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, also in Nigeria. She is currently studying her doctorate degree in English at University of Nigeria Nsukka. Ozioma’s current research interest spans across several fields of linguistics, which include Sociolinguistics, Pragmatics, and Semiotics, three of which address her doctoral research. Besides her doctoral research, Ozioma is currently working on how rhetoric can be used judiciously to solve several human problems, such as insecurity and climate change. 

Okorie, Okechukwu 

Okechukwu Okorie is a staff of National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria, who also serves as a lecturer of English at Federal School of Statistics, Manchok, Kaduna State, Nigeria. He is also studying his doctorate degree in English at University of Nigeria Nsukka. Okechwkwu has interest in studying phonetics and phonology of English. His PhD research is also related to his research interest.


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