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Gender, Generations and the Family in International Migration

Gender, Generations and the Family in International Migration

Albert Kraler
Eleonore Kofman
Martin Kohli
Camille Schmoll
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 404
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  • Book Info
    Gender, Generations and the Family in International Migration
    Book Description:

    Family-related migration is moving to the centre of political debates on migration, integration and multiculturalism in Europe. It is also more and more leading to lively academic interest in the family dimensions of international migration. At the same time, strands of research on family migrations and migrant families remain separate from - and sometimes ignorant of - each other. This volume seeks to bridge the disciplinary divides. Fifteen chapters come up with a number of common themes. Collectively, the authors address the need to better understand the diversity of family-related migration and its resulting family forms and practices, to question, if not counter, simplistic assumptions about migrant families in public discourses, to study family migration from a mix of disciplinary perspectives at various levels and via different methodological approaches and to acknowledge the state's role in shaping family-related migration, practices and lives. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1361-1
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-8)
  3. Preface
    (pp. 9-12)
    Albert Kraler
  4. 1 Introduction Issues and debates on family-related migration and the migrant family: A European perspective
    (pp. 13-54)
    Eleonore Kofman, Albert Kraler, Martin Kohli and Camille Schmoll

    In recent years there has been growing interest in research and policy about family migrations and migrant families, resulting in an increasing number of projects,¹ publications and specialised conferences.² In all European states the migration of family members, which includes those accompanying workers as well as those joining citizens and settled migrants, is significant in migratory flows. In Southern Europe, there has been a dramatic increase in family flows due to larger numbers of economic migrants, regularisation programmes and introduction of legislation for family reunification. However, family migration has generally not led to debates on this topic. In Northern European...

  5. Section I The family as a moral and social order

    • 2 Sex and the regulation of belonging: Dutch family migration policies in the context of changing family norms
      (pp. 57-76)
      Sarah van Walsum

      In recent years, the Netherlands has drawn international attention by requiring that family migrants originating from less industrially developed nations in Africa, Asia and South America pass a Dutch language and integration test in their countries of origin, before they can be admitted into the country.¹

      When defending these policies before Dutch Parliament, former Minister for Immigration and Integration Affairs Rita Verdonk linked assumed differences between Dutch norms regarding family relations and sexuality and those of ‘non-Western’ migrants to perceived threats to the stability of Dutch society as a whole. In her words:

      failed integration can lead to marginalisation and...

    • 3 Marriages, arranged and forced: The UK debate
      (pp. 77-98)
      Ralph Grillo

      Arranged and forced marriages among immigrant and minority ethnic groups have been widely debated across Europe,¹ and although the present chapter deals principally with developments in the United Kigdom between 1997 and 2009, it has wider theoretical implications. First, it builds on research reported elsewhere (Grillo 2008) in which the family is seen as a moral order, a social construct entailing beliefs, values and ideas by reference to which its members are identified, organised and bound together, though with widely diverse understandings cross-culturally of how familial relations should be defined and practiced. As such, under conditions of migration, it becomes...

    • 4 Filial obligations among immigrants and native Dutch: A comparison of perceptions and behaviour among ethnic groups and generations
      (pp. 99-120)
      Djamila Schans and Helga de Valk

      Filial obligation, both perceptions and behaviour thereof, are often supposed to differ across ethnic groups. Immigrants from non-Western countries are supposed to originate from, and be part of, family systems that have strong interdependent ties and obligations compared to natives in the host society (Bolzman, Poncioni-Derigo, Vial & Fibbi 2004; Reher 1998). How and to what extent the immigration experience affects perceptions and behaviour regarding filial obligations is still rather unexplored. The literature is contradictory on the importance of ethnic background for filial obligations. Some North American studies show that expectations parents have towards their children indeed differ by ethnic...

    • 5 Social construction of neglect: The case of unaccompanied minors from Morocco to Spain
      (pp. 121-138)
      Núria Empez Vidal

      One of the most riveting sets of images in the international press in the last decade has been the arrival of young North African boys who cross the Strait of Gibraltar trying to reach the shores of southern Spain. The majority of them are Moroccans. They enter Spain hidden under trucks or buses on ferries from Tangier, in northern Morocco, or in overloadedpateras,small, precarious speed boats run by professional smugglers.

      The arrival of these boys has drawn considerable attention from policy-makers, NGOs, scholars¹ and journalists. Under international law, children enjoy particular protection. As ‘legal minors’, children are regarded...

  6. Section II Gender, generation and work in the migrant family

    • 6 The problem of ‘human capital’: Gender, place and immigrant household strategies of reskilling in Vancouver
      (pp. 141-162)
      Gillian Creese, Isabel Dyck and Arlene Tiger McLaren

      During the past few decades, immigration policies across Europe have become more restrictive, with family-related migration as the most accessible and feasible mode to enter a country (on marriage migration in the Netherlands see Suksomboon this volume). In her chapter on Switzerland, Riaño (this volume) notes that the ratio of family-related immigration to labour immigration is high due to the fact that the government has traditionally controlled the latter more than the former. In contrast, as a largely immigrant-receiving country, Canada has increasingly developed an economic discourse that is highly restrictive in privileging the skilled economic immigrant over other immigrants...

    • 7 The transmission of labour commitment within families of migrant entrepreneurs in France and Spain
      (pp. 163-192)
      Christine Catarino and Laura Oso

      Studies into ‘family businesses’ have traditionally revealed the need to link home and business environments (Finch & Mason 1993), highlighting the interaction between family relations and the development of small businesses that require capital and family labour both at their initial stages and in order to survive (Baines & Wheelock 1998; Wheelock & Baines 1998). Indeed, certain authors go as far as to speak of a ‘family embeddedness perspective’ (Aldrich & Cliff 2003) (see review of this literature by Ram, Sanghera, Abbas, Barlow & Jones 2000; Jones & Ram 2007).

      In turn, studies into ‘ethnic businesses’ have also acknowledged the...

    • 8 Spousal reunification among recent immigrants in Spain: Links with undocumented migration and the labour market
      (pp. 193-218)
      Amparo González-Ferrer

      In 2007, one of the most widely read Spanish newspapers published the following headline: ‘Family reunification opens the door to 245,000 new immigrants in only three years. The government says a second stage in the migratory process is starting’ (Bárbulo 2007). Spain’s Secretary of State of Immigration stated that this increase in the number of foreigners who had been granted a residence permit on the basis of family reunification must be seen as a good sign because ‘[…] family reunification is a factor that promotes settlement’ and ‘[…] favours integration into the host society and reduces the immigrants’ risk of...

  7. Section III Marriage migration and gender relations

    • 9 Cross-border marriage as a migration strategy: Thai women in the Netherlands
      (pp. 221-242)
      Panitee Suksomboon

      In the context of more restrictive immigration policies across Europe and the Netherlands, in particular, marriage migration and more broadly family-related migration have become the most accessible and feasible mode to enter the Netherlands. Women married to a Dutch husband are actually by far the largest group of Thai immigrants in the Netherlands. Many traditional accounts of marriage migration have highlighted the economic disparity between poorer countries in the global South and rich, developed countries in the global North as the main stimulus driving brides from poorer countries to marry grooms in wealthier ones. This chapter deconstructs these simplistic and...

    • 10 Marriage across space and time among male migrants from Cameroon to Germany
      (pp. 243-264)
      Annett Fleischer

      Studies on immigration and integration in Germany have so far concentrated on former guestworker groups and subsequent generations, and mainly on Turkish migrants in German society. Few studies have emphasised newer migrants groups, such as sub-Saharan Africans.² African migration to Germany becomes increasingly important and relevant, not only for the increasing number of migrants coming and attempting to stay, but also for their very different pathways and contextual settings compared to the ‘guestworker generation’.

      There are four main reasons for studying African migration and, in particular, Cameroonian migration to Germany. First, sub-Saharan African migrants in Germany are a recent phenomenon....

    • 11 ‘He’s the Swiss citizen, I’m the foreign spouse’: Binational marriages and the impact of family-related migration policies on gender relations
      (pp. 265-284)
      Yvonne Riaño

      In Switzerland, like other European countries, family-related migration remains the main means of immigration. Nearly 40 per cent of the immigrants who entered Switzerland between 1998 and 2007 did so for reasons of marriage or family reunification, while only a quarter entered because of employment (SFS 2008). One of the reasons the ratio of family-related immigration to labour immigration is so high is that the Swiss government has traditionally limited the number of employment immigrants, whereas family immigration has not been so tightly controlled.

      As in other European countries (Grillo 2008; Kofman, Kraler, Kohli & Schmoll and Grillo this volume),...

  8. Section IV Transnational family lives and practices

    • 12 Transnational family life and female migration in Italy: One or multiple patterns?
      (pp. 287-312)
      Ludovica Banfi and Paolo Boccagni

      Research on transnational family life – that is, the manifold ongoing interactions between migrants, especially women, and the family members left behind – has resulted in a growing body of empirical studies over the last decade. Seldom, however, have they been conducted in a comparative perspective and much less so with respect to European Union receiving countries. The chapter draws on original empirical data to provide a novel comparison between transnational family attitudes, practices and perspectives in three migration flows, linking Italy to such diverse areas as Poland, Ukraine and Ecuador.

      The three sending countries basically share some relevant traits in terms...

    • 13 Civic stratification, stratified reproduction and family solidarity: Strategies of Latino families in Milan
      (pp. 313-334)
      Paola Bonizzoni

      Despite a strong discourse of closure that progressively spread across all European Union countries from the 1970s onward, migration in Europe still persists in a variety of forms. Migrants comprise the professional and technical elite, families, asylum seekers, seasonal workers, undocumented persons and EU and non-EU citizens. This range reflects a stratification of statuses and belongings, a system that Morris (2000), following Lockwood, calls civic stratification: a structure of inequalities of access to the freedom of movement and rights that represents the prevalent modality of managing migration in European countries. The process of assigning different sets of rights to people...

    • 14 Gender and intergenerational issues in the circulation of highly skilled migrants: The case of Indian IT professionals
      (pp. 335-354)
      Aurélie Varrel

      Studies of highly skilled migration have been broadly imbued with the illusion of a ‘smooth circulation of skills’, focusing on the legal, economic and political mechanisms (Lowell & Findlay 2003; Martin 2003; Shachar 2006). As a consequence, such studies have been dominated by macro-level methodology that is mostly gender-neutral or male-focused and has largely ignored the implications for families and conjugal relations (Raghuram 2004b). Although highly skilled migration deserves case-specific attention on some levels (Iredale & Appleyard 2001), it is worth investigating the personal dimensions of the migration decision-making process as one would for any other migrant (Kofman & Raghuram...

    • 15 Negotiating transnational caring practices among migrant families
      (pp. 355-373)
      Venetia Evergeti and Louise Ryan

      Currently, there is increased political and academic interest in family migration and migrant families. This has led to theorisations of ‘transnational living’ that tend to assume that transnationalism has been made easy by advances in modern travel and digital communications. More recent studies are now exploring how and to what extent members of migrant families negotiate their long-distance relations and caring practices (Ryan, 2007; Zontini, 2006, 2007; Evergeti, 2006, 2008; Baldassar & Baldock 2000; Baldassar, 2007; Banfi & Boccagni this volume). Our aim in this chapter is to conduct a brief yet critical exploration of the relevant literature, highlight the...

  9. List of contributors
    (pp. 374-378)
  10. Index
    (pp. 379-394)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 395-401)