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Transnational parenthood

Fedyuk, Olena (2015) Transnational parenthood. In: Routledge Handbook of Immigration and Refugee Studies. Routledge International Handbooks series . Routledge, London and New York. ISBN 9781138794313

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Abstract

With the emergence of transnationalism framework (Basch et al., 1994; Glick Schiller et al., 1992), families separated by borders gained a new prominent position in migration research. Where before the focus was on men pioneering migration, working and living away from homes (among the most vocal examples is Berger and Mohr, 1975) the transnational paradigm allowed to look simultaneously at several locations along migrants’ mobility trajectories and to include migrants’ families’ and employers’ stories. Significantly, the framework gave a toolkit to probe such questions linked to migration as, to name a few, the role of families in triggering, enabling and sustaining migration of certain family members, the diverse practices of maintaining relationships across the borders, the dynamics of changing roles and strategies in such families, the complex moral economies surrounding migration of various family members. Thus, non-migrating family members entered the stoplight as the full-functioning actors with differentiated by gender and life-cycle obligations and claims, however equally important for understanding migratory flows and practices. In other words, transnational approach also allowed for a better integration of gendered perspective on labour migration as it shifted its focus from migration as an act of working and remitting, to a complex project in which reproductive labour of all family members play an active part in shaping migrants’ trajectories.