Beyond breadwinning: Ghanaian transnational fathering in the Netherlands

Miranda Poeze*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

This article probes how gender norms and male migrants' legal and socio-economic position shape transnational fathering amongst Ghanaian-born fathers, residing in the Netherlands, who have one or more children living in Ghana. Drawing on ethnographic research with Ghanaian transnational fathers, this article compares fathers' attitudes and actual practices. In conformity with cultural expectations of fatherhood in Ghana, the men in this study primarily addressed their paternal role in terms of financial support for their families as 'breadwinners'. Alongside breadwinning responsibilities, however, over three-quarters of the Ghanaian fathers espoused more 'engaged' parenting ideals, challenging stereotypes of the uncaring and distant migrant father who neglects his 'stay-behind' children's emotional needs. Our analysis shows that fathers' legal and socio-economic status largely determines men's possibilities to perform their material and 'emotionally engaged' paternal ideals across borders. The emotional distance was particularly pronounced for undocumented and low-income migrants who were legally or financially incapable of bridging the emotional gulf arising from physical distance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3065-3084
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume45
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventTransnational and Transborder Familial and Gender Relations: Comparing the Influence of Blurred and Brittle Borders - Oxford’s Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Sep 201525 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • AMERICANS
  • African migration
  • CARE
  • FAMILIES
  • GENDER
  • LIVES
  • MIGRANTS
  • MIGRATION
  • MOBILITY
  • MOTHERHOOD
  • RESPONSIBILITY
  • Transnational fathers
  • border crossing
  • family breadwinning
  • immigration control
  • CHILDREN
  • LIFE

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