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Gender Through the Prism of Difference Chapter Five Families Families.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender Through the Prism of Difference Chapter Five Families Families."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender Through the Prism of Difference Chapter Five Families Families

2  Early Twentieth Century witnessed changes in world economy and cultural systems which in turn have affected all families and households structures  Despite all these changes traditional family institution is still idealized as natural based on loving mother hood and child bearing remains in our minds with warmth and longing  The ideal of unconditional love as a refuge against the outside pressure and competitive world remains as our vision that we yearn to attain  Motherhood and Fatherhood, childbearing and childrearing tasks are central to the image of the traditional family structure  Work and changing gender roles within families due to women entering into public sphere gave women an opportunity to undertake different roles in addition to her domestic duties  Despite these changes women have not been freed from the demands of domestic labor and responsibilities. Now, her domestic tasks under global migration have been transferred from unpaid household labor to a transnational domestic paid labor

3  Labor market, class, race, and gender lead to economic marginality of mothers and the lives of single women changed due to the transnational corporate economy, which disrupted the traditional agrarian family life, woman began to perceive love and marriage to be more risky than rewarding

4 I’m am here, but I am there:  Mothering is understood as a sacred duty that represent preservation, nurturance, and training of children into culture and tradition  Latina immigrant woman work and live in the US while their children continue to live in their original countries  Transnational motherhood when immigrant mothers leave their own children to take care of children of other families  These special and temporal separations are imposed on families by the new global economy  Similarly African American woman leave their families back home seeking work for survival in the North  Most of these mothers leave their children to grandmothers and other family kin or their fathers or even their older daughters  Mexican mothers work in LA in most gendered and racialized occupations  This shifts in family relation structure closely connected to the late Twentieth global capitalism

5  Transnational motherhood is rooted in socio-economic needs and demand for Latina immigrant women for particular domestic paid labor  Civil War economic crisis, scarce job opportunities for women and bad development strategies lead to increased female headed households  Immigrant Mexican mothers are building alternative construction of motherhood. This improvising a new approach to mothering is a brave move, but one with deep costs!

6  Attempts of free structuring and rethinking motherhood: feminist negate monolithic notion of family and dominance arena of private and public dichotomies and claim that a privatized mothering is socially and culturally constructed  They go as far as calling domesticity as a cult that was constructed by Industrial Revolution husbands paid wages and wives stayed home through the reproductive duties supply capitalism with labor force  Working class and women of color rarely had access to permits mothers to be solely devoted to their children in early years, hence, mothering is gendered, racialized, and differentiated by class  Mothering other children while leaving their own: middle class white women entrust her children to immigrant mothers under industrialization and urbanization  Pre-industrial cultural construction and rural peasant society allowed women to work while tending to their children  Post industrial seclusion and exclusivity of domesticity have prevented women from continuing her other roles  This was supported by symbolic model of maternal virgin Madonna figure served to control Chicana women in restricting their sphere of social activities by prescribing idealized vision of motherhood

7  Consequently women had to innovate income-earning strategies under economic pressure by doing paid work at home  Some involving their kids such as sewing and vending activities or clean houses with their own daughters  Today transnational work prologue distance, time, and space that separate mothers from their children  This in contrast to mother-child integration in the work place under old systems as to the separation and isolation of the new system  Consequently transnational mothering resulted in spatial and temporal gulfs are more and more prolonged  Trans mothers come to the USA with intention to stay for a short period of time but time passes and economic needs remain, this leaves to prolonged leave and separation  When a man immigrant to work he is paid to fulfill familial obligations/bread winning for family, when women do the same, they are embarking on a journey initiating separation from children, and husbands and other community duties

8  Additionally, women have to deal with the social stigma and guilt  Trans women are paid for reproductive work of other people’s children  Trans mother require them to be around the clock at their employers services  Who takes care of nannies children?  Mothering and bread winning: providing for children sustenance, preparing for their future education all are major concerns of motherhood  Women who are involved in transnational mothering are intent to ensure present and future well being of their children through wage earning overseas, but this require long term arduous physical and emotional separation from their children  In this case, there is no daily face to face mothering and caring but primarily through bread winning  Consequently motherhood definition expanded to include bread winning financial responsibility in order to provide better in nutrition, school needs, clothing's, and etc…  These mothers recognize this trans relations incur in painful costs and its negative effects on their children

9  In the absence of domestic life transnational mothers experience deep loss, loss of daily of physical contact with their family, sharing with them daily life experiences, “you can’t give love through money”  Bonding with employers kids and critiques of US mothers: trans mothers observe the lack of affection their employers children experience, giving them affection make those trans mothers feel consoled too because they feel they have someone to give love too  Other trans mother feels they have to safeguard their emotional ties fearing abrupt and unexpected severing their emotional bond when their job terminates

10 Conclusion Conclusion  Latinas transnational mothers represent new mothering trends and their care giving goes beyond geographical boundaries and time, it goes beyond joint custody and other more closely bound childrearing models  Contemporary trans-motherhood incorporated into the USA through coercive systems of labor that do not recognize family rights and the continuation a long historical legacy of people of colored  Color, all in order to maximize economic productivity offering minimum support for family life  Given appropriate circumstances, these trans national mothers wish to be with their children in their home country  Demanding the rights for women workers to chose their own motherhood arrangements would be the beginning of truly just family and work policies, policies that address not only inequalities of gender, but also inequalities of race, class, and citizenship

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