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Transnational Families, Migration and Gender

Transnational Families, Migration and Gender: Moroccan and Filipino Women in Bologna and Barcelona

Elisabetta Zontini
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Transnational Families, Migration and Gender
    Book Description:

    By linking the experiences of immigrant families with the increased reliance on cheap and flexible workers for care and domestic work in Southern Europe, this study documents the lived experiences of neglected actors of globalization - migrant women - as well as the transformations of Western families more generally. However, while describing in detail the structural and cultural contexts within which these women have to operate, the book questions dominant paradigms about women as passive victims of patriarchal structures and brings out instead their agency and the creative ways in which they take control of their lives in often difficult circumstances. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, the author offers a valuable dual comparison between two Southern European countries on the one hand and between two migrant groups, one Christian and one Muslim, on the other, thus bringing to light unique detailed data on migration decision-making, settlement and on the multiple ways in which different women cope with the consequences of their transnational lives.

    eISBN: 978-1-84545-805-8
    Subjects: Sociology, Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. List of Maps
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
    Elizabetta Zontini
  6. 1 Introduction: Southern Europe and the New Immigrations
    (pp. 1-24)

    Women represent a considerable and growing percentage of the total immigration to Southern Europe, as in many migrations world-wide (Castles and Miller 1998). However, the peculiarity of Southern Europe is the presence of many highly gendered flows: some male-dominated and others female-dominated. This study addresses the causes and consequences of this gender-selective migration for the individual migrant worker and their families and explores the important, but hitherto overlooked, question of women’s role and position in transnational families. The analysis is based on a double comparison in two Southern European countries and between two migrant groups (Filipinos who are of Christian...

  7. 2 Transnational Migration, Gender and Settlement: Towards an Understanding of the Southern European Case
    (pp. 25-60)

    Recent literature on transnationalism has attempted to break down the divide between sending and receiving societies, offering a unified perspective on the migration experience which encompasses the multidirectional relationships that individuals maintain across countries. However, a large body of literature, especially in Europe, continues to focus on either the migration process or on aspects related to settlement. This chapter aims at reviewing and bringing together these two areas of research in order to develop a framework that looks at settlement in Southern Europe from both a gendered and transnational perspective. The chapter starts with a review of early attempts to...

  8. 3 Immigration, Work and Family in Bologna
    (pp. 61-126)

    We move from one country to the next without knowing how our future will be. What is the meaning of our life now that our family is divided in three different directions?

    My older brothers stayed behind in Morocco, the three of us left for Italy. My mother and I, though, stay here in this unknown town waiting full of anxiety for news about my father who, in the meantime, has moved to another place in search of work.

    We are always afraid that something might happen to him. Our minds are tired of thinking because we don’t do anything else...

  9. 4 Immigration, Work and Family in Barcelona
    (pp. 127-188)

    This chapter takes Barcelona as the second case-study for my analysis of the social and family relations of Moroccan and Filipino immigrant women in Southern Europe. By taking into account the experiences of the same national groups of women in a different setting (that of Barcelona), I hope to shed some light on the role of the receiving context in shaping processes of migration and also, as Parreñas (2001: 9) has done, provide ‘a tool to study how similarities emerge in two different contexts’. The account that follows, together with the one on Bologna presented in Chapter 4, will provide...

  10. 5 Comparative Perspectives on Female Migration and Settlement in Southern Europe
    (pp. 189-222)

    This chapter summarises the results of the research and locates them in an explicitly comparative perspective both across locations and migrant groups so as to highlight the main similarities and differences among them. The first section addresses the reasons behind Moroccan and Filipino women’s migration and the ways in which they accomplish their migratory projects. The second section deals with female immigrants’ insertion in local labour markets. I consider both the characteristics and conditions of employment, and immigrant women’s own valuation and perceptions of their jobs. The third section centres on immigrant families and women’s roles in them, paying particulars...

  11. 6 Conclusions
    (pp. 223-236)

    The aim of this concluding chapter is to highlight the main findings of the book in relation to the questions posed in the Introduction and to the debates on gender and migration introduced in Chapter 2. This conclusions are organised thematically around the four aspects that were found to be crucial both from the literature review in Chapter 2 and from the empirical research presented in Chapters 3, 4 and 5. These aspects are: the structure vs. agency debate; the importance of a gender and family focus in migration studies; the effects of transnationalism on families; and the emergence of...

  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 237-250)
  13. Index
    (pp. 251-270)