Gendered Transnational Parenting

Karlijn Haagsman*, Valentina Mazzucato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Transnational families in which parents and children reside in different nation states have existed for centuries, yet scholarship has paid attention to this phenomenon only in the past 20 years. The feminization of migration, resulting in more mothers migrating independently and leaving their children in the care of someone else, has contributed to the recent attention. Policy and societal concerns fearing that these separations have an adverse effect on both mothers and children have given rise to a bourgeoning scholarship on transnational families investigating the effects of transnational separation. Studies have found that mothers and children are affected negatively in various dimensions of their well-being. Gender norms are often seen as part of the explanation. As mothers are often the primary care providers, their co-presence is considered a prerequisite to healthy child development. If mothers cannot fulfil this parenting norm, this results in stress and guilt for these mothers and emotional loss for children. Men’s roles as breadwinners is seen as more compatible with their migration. Yet, there are only a limited number of studies that have looked at fathers and comparisons between migrant mothers and fathers are even scarcer. This chapter will discuss studies on transnational mothers and fathers, the effects separation has on them and their families and the differences in these effects amongst family members. While gender norms are taken into account, this chapter will also look at contextual and structural factors that can explain possible differences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Migration
EditorsClaudia Mora, Nicola Piper
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-63347-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-63346-2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2021

Publication series

SeriesPalgrave handbooks

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