Who Cares for the Children And The Elderly? Gender And Transnational Families (Chapter 6 in Childhood And Parenting In Transnational Settings).
Fan, Yu-Kang. Parreñas, Rhacel Salazar.
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The constitution of gender in transnational families is explored in this chapter by asking the questions “who cares for the children?” and “who cares for the elderly?” The authors compare the experience of children of migrant fathers and mothers, as well as that of the elderly parents of immigrant sons and daughters. They find that there is a stalled gender revolution from the lives of left-behind children and elderly: the men who either stay behind or (im)migrate act as reluctant caregivers, while the women who either stay behind or (im)migrate remain obliged to undertake care work. As the authors illustrate, it is the women who maintain the responsibility for care work in a transnational family. Despite some scholars celebrating the transformation of gender notions that women’s migration has instigated in the gender division of labor within the family, the authors demonstrate that gender is stubborn rather than malleable. Lastly, the authors conclude by discussing the key social forces that are responsible for stalling gender transformation in the transnational family and end by identifying areas of research that can advance the knowledge of gender and its constitution in transnational families. (Author abstract)
Intergenerational relationships; cross cultural studies; children of immigrants; migrant workers; family relationships; parent child relationships; father involvement; Human sex differences; Intergenerational relationships; parental absence; child rearing; WOMENS ADVOCACY