Sessions on Transnational Families at the XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology , Yokohama, 13-19 July 2014:

  • Families Resilience in Times of Economic Crisis and Mobility (RC06/RC31/2);
  • Session Organizers
    Loretta BALDASSAR, University of Western Australia, Australia, loretta baldassar
    Majella KILKEY, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, kilkey
    Laura MERLA, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium,merla laura

    Session in English
    Little is known about the impact of the current economic crisis on families and on the strategies they adopt to deal with it. This session seeks to address that gap by examining the potential re-activation of transnational family ties and solidarities in times of crisis. Rather than seeing care exchange as a unidirectional, one way drain flow from poor migrants to wealthy elites, the session builds on a conceptualization of care flows as asymmetrical and circular. Potential sources of support and resilience opportunities can accommodate strains and stresses in one country through the resilience and strength of the family network spread across the globe. Specifically, migration is examined both as a strategy to cope with the crisis and as a resource underpinning transnational family and community relations, which is likely to vary across and within migration streams. Of particular importance here is an analysis of inequalities in what has been called `global householding` (Douglass 2006, Kofman 2012) in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, class, employment status and skill. The circular flows of care and resilience strategies within families occur with the poor and also with the middle classes and elites who utilise networks to facilitate mobility, opportunities for economic and career success, and care for dependent family members as parents age and for the very young. We invite contributions that analyse the strategies that “old” and “new” transnational families adopt to cope with the effects of the current economic crisis. We are particularly interested in: Transnational families’ resilience strategies in a comparative perspective; Intergenerational and/or cross generational linkages within transnational families, as well as inequalities within and across transnational families, and the role that diasporas play in creating resilience for migrant families in times of economic crisis.

  • Contemporary Spatial Mobilities in Family Life (RC31)
    Session Organizers

    Laura MERLA, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, merla laura
    Loretta BALDASSAR, University of Western Australia, Australia, loretta baldassar
    Yukimi SHIMODA, University of Western Australia, Australia, shimoda
    Sachiko SONE, University of Western Australia, Australia, sashiko

    Session in English
    This session explores spatial mobilities in family life in all their diversity: sojourn, commuter, transnational, retirement, multi-local, lifestyle, international student, FIFO, return visits, repatriations, ‘tenkin-zoku’... We examine mobility as the new paradigm for understanding social life, and explore mobility and absence as increasingly common experiences in contemporary family life. What are the major issues and challenges presented by this wide range of internal and transnational mobilities? Can we usefully examine these diverse types of mobility together or are there distinctions that warrant careful attention? Our consideration includes the ways in which the mobilities of family members influence those who move and those who stay at ‘home’. We invite contributions that examine contemporary family mobilities in diverse forms and raise issues and challenges for our spatially moving societies. We are particularly interested in contributions that examine contemporary family mobilities in Asia, and other non-western regions.

« Regulating Family Migrations and Transnational Family Strategies » - Eleonore Kofman (Middlesex University) - 17 février 2014, Louvain-la-Neuve:

Over the past two decades family migration has become more politicised and heavily regulated. Marriage migration policies in European states increasingly reflect the changing conceptualisations of the family in Western societies -dominance of romantic love between autonomous and self-supporting individuals. The sets of interventions in the modalities of couple formation, designed to ensure conformity to modern values and the reproduction of worthy citizens, have increasingly served to limit the freedom of partner choice to marry transnationally to those who have the stipulated socio-economic or class status. The presentation examines the impact of regulatory measures on family migration and transnational family life for migrants, children and parents and the strategies pursued by those affected by these measures.