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Gender, Migration and Categorisation

Gender, Migration and Categorisation: Making Distinctions between Migrants in Western Countries, 1945-2010

Marlou Schrover
Deirdre M. Moloney
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 268
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  • Book Info
    Gender, Migration and Categorisation
    Book Description:

    This collection explores how Western countries have historically distinguished between categories of migrants-such as labor, refugee, family, and postcolonial migrants. Covering France, the United States, Turkey, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark, the contributors explain how concepts such as "refugee," "family," and "difference" have been defined through policy and public debate. Tightly intertwined, these definitions are continuously changing with the economic and geopolitical climate, as well as in relation to migrants' gender, class, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and countries of destination and origin.

    eISBN: 978-90-485-2175-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. 1 Introduction Making a difference
    (pp. 7-54)
    Marlou Schrover and Deirdre Moloney

    All people are equal, according to Thomas Jefferson, but all migrants are not. States differentiate explicitly betweencategories of migrants(e.g., colonial, refugee, labour and family), and they differentiate implicitly according tocategories of analysis, such as gender, class, religion and ethnicity. The relationship between gender and categorisation is twofold. In the first place, the ability to move between the categories of migrants is different for men and for women. Secondly, ideas about gender, together with those from other categories of analysis (e.g., class, religion and ethnicity), shape debates in the media and policies, as this volume makes clear. The...

  4. 2 Refugees and restrictionism Armenian women immigrants to the USA in the post-World War I era
    (pp. 55-74)
    Yael Schacher

    Most scholarship on us refugee and asylum policy focuses on the period after the Second World War, though some works briefly mention that the 1917 immigration law exempted from the literacy test those fleeing from religious persecution. One scholar has claimed this early provision was ‘stillborn’, given the passage of increasingly restrictionist quota laws in 1921 and 1924 that guaranteed no slots for refugees (Bon Tempo 2008: 15). Another scholar categorises the literacy test exemption as part of a liberal tradition of asylum, which developed in the USA as a defence against exclusion and deportation (Price 2009: 52-58). But there...

  5. 3 New refugees? Manly war resisters prevent an asylum crisis in the Netherlands, 1968-1973
    (pp. 75-104)
    Tycho Walaardt

    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a few hundred Portuguese war resisters and an American deserter sought refuge in the Netherlands. These ‘New Refugees’ (Cohen & Joly 1989: 6) were the first substantial group of asylum seekers to flee from non-communist countries to the Netherlands since the beginning of the post-Second World War era Their arrival was part of a broader phenomenon: after the late 1960s the number of asylum applicants increased, and their countries of origin and their reasons for fleeing diversified (Paludan 1981: 69; Hoeksma 1987: 98; Gallagher 1989; Bronkhorst 1990: 44). This chapter describes the responses...

  6. 4 A gender-blind approach in Canadian refugee processes Mexican female claimants in the new refugee narrative
    (pp. 105-126)
    Monica Boyd and Joanne Nowak

    Women refugees have long faced barriers to the refugee process. However, in the 1990s a number of countries adopted a formal set of gender guidelines to assist them in taking gender issues into account in refugee adjudications. Consequently, many women successfully obtained refugee status by claiming gender-based persecution. Additionally, gender-related abuses were incorporated into the larger refugee narrative emphasising political and humanitarian concerns. Focusing on the recent influx of Mexican refugees to Canada, this chapter argues that today’s refugee narrative has moved away from a gender-inclusive approach, and reverted to the traditional gender-blind perspective. Using a framing analysis of more...

  7. 5 Queer asylum US policies and responses to sexual orientation and transgendered persecution
    (pp. 127-148)
    Connie Oxford

    This chapter examines US asylum laws (both legislative and case law) and policies regarding sexual orientation and transgendered persecution. It addresses the gendered nature of US asylum laws and policies towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) migrants, paying particular attention to the claims of gay men and transgendered women. Queer asylum seekers face particular obstacles in immigrant advocacy communities, and the current laws and policies have implications for what constitutes queer identity. Sexual and family violence has emerged as the dominant narrative in asylum declarations by gay men and transgendered women. The chapter argues that queer asylum is gendered...

  8. 6 Belonging and membership Postcolonial legacies of colonial family law in Dutch immigration policies
    (pp. 149-174)
    Sarah van Walsum, Guno Jones and Susan Legêne

    In recent years, the Netherlands drew international attention by being the first country to require that family unification migrants pass a language and integration test in their countries of origin before being admitted into the Netherlands.¹ Member of Parliament Rita Verdonk (VVD), who in 2006-2007 would become the Dutch Minister for Immigration and Integration Affairs, in 2005 defended these policies in parliament by linking threats to the stability of Dutch society with assumed differences between Dutch norms regarding family relations and sexuality and those of ‘non-Western’ migrants:

    [F]ailed integration can lead to marginalisation and segregation as a result of which...

  9. 7 Blood matters Sarkozy’s immigration policies and their gendered impact
    (pp. 175-192)
    Catherine Raissiguier

    The quote that opens this chapter is from a Senate report published in June 2007. Part of a larger study on the administration of visa applications in French consulates, the report urges consulate agents to focus on the review of visa applications, outsourcing non-essential tasks to the private sector (en externalisant au secteur privé les tâches annexes). It also recommends that a common work culture be promoted across the various agencies in charge of controlling immigration in France. The average processing cost for a visa application is €35, concludes Gouteyron, while the average cost for the deportation of an illegal...

  10. 8 Gender, inequality and integration Swedish policies on migrant incorporation and the position of migrant women
    (pp. 193-214)
    Maja Cederberg

    As feminist migration scholars have highlighted, in contrast to gender-blind conceptions of migration, women have formed, and continue to form, a significant part of migratory flows. Furthermore, the conditions that structure migrants’ options, positions and experiences in both sending and receiving countries are gendered (see, e.g., Phizacklea 1983; Morokvasic 1984; Kofman 1999; Kofman et al. 2000). Cultural constraints, in particular, related to dominant ideas about male and female roles in the private and public spheres are underpinned by, and help to reproduce, gendered power relations and inequalities. These affect the nature and extent of men’s and women’s economic, social and...

  11. 9 Take off that veil and give me access to your body An analysis of Danish debates about Muslim women’s head and body covering
    (pp. 215-230)
    Rikke Andreassen

    This chapter analyses two Danish debates about Muslim women’s head and body covering. One of these debates focuses on a 2007 prohibition of fully-veiled women from working in the Danish public sector; the other involves a 2009 proposal to outlaw full veiling (burqas and niqabs) in Denmark. These debates function as a window to a broader understanding of how categories of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion and nationality are constructed. The chapter shows that these debates have played important roles in excluding Muslims from the Danish community, and that within them, gender, gender equality and sexual liberty became hostages...

  12. 10 Multiculturalism, dependent residence status and honour killings Explaining current Dutch intolerance towards ethnic minorities from a gender perspective (1960-2000)
    (pp. 231-254)
    Marlou Schrover

    This chapter analyses how issues pertaining to the Turkish minority in the Netherlands have been framed in parliamentary discussions and in newspapers (see also Schrover 2011).¹ It focuses, in particular, on three issues that dominated debates between the 1960s and the 2000s. The issues are described here separately, but they are very much related. They occurred more or less in parallel and influenced one another. The first was the multicultural policy in the Netherlands, which included provisions for granting subsidies to Turkish organisations. Dutch multicultural policy thus stimulated and subsidised differences. In the 1980s, ideas about multiculturalism changed, and organisations...

  13. 11 Conclusion Gender, migration and cross-categorical research
    (pp. 255-264)
    Marlou Schrover and Deirdre Moloney

    States differentiate explicitly betweencategories of migrants(e.g., colonial, refugee, labour and family) and implicitly according tocategories of analysis, such as gender, class, religion and ethnicity. This volume focused on this dual relationship between gender and categorisation. Categories of migrants are like communicating vessels: migrants can and do change categories. We analysed how, when and why this happens, and how this differs according to gender, as well as to class and ethnicity. Defining (the true refugee, the family member or difference) is directly related to enumerating migrants. Numbers (real or inflated) are vital to justify measures or new policies....

  14. About the authors
    (pp. 265-268)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 269-272)