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Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology

On-line version ISSN 1809-4341

Abstract

SCOTT, Parry. Families, nations and generations in women's international migration. Vibrant, Virtual Braz. Anthr. [online]. 2011, vol.8, n.2, pp. 279-306. ISSN 1809-4341.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1809-43412011000200013.

Four experiences of women´s migration from Recife to Europe are examined emphasizing sociability between generations, families and gender relations. The genealogical method is used as a tool to understand the logic of relatedness and mobility. Elder women's genealogies reveal the importance of kin relations and of Recife being a city of plural migrant destinations. Generational and gender hierarchies influence decisions about caretaking, cleaning, marriages and mobility. Women´s group solidarity is counterbalanced by male initiatives and patrilateral privileges in migration events. Redefinitions and reaffirmations of generational hierarchies are narrated in relation to migrant autonomy and subordination. Family references are seen as available mechanisms to circumvent national legal barriers to mobility. Informants' accounts of migrant experience relegate opinions about national and cultural differences as secondary to discourse about family and kin obligations. Migrants establish some autonomy and confront sociopolitical structures, even when facing double gender subordination and insertion in hierarchical kin networks.

Keywords : international migration; women; generations; gender relations; family; networks; genealogies.

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