Managing «Difference» in Eastern-European Transnational Families

by Viorela Ducu (Volume editor) Áron Telegdi-Csetri (Volume editor)
©2016 Edited Collection 190 Pages


Studies in this book have been gathered on the occasion of two academic events in the field of Transnational Families, focusing on the Eastern-European space, from a – diversified – qualitative social research perspective. The volume places a special emphasis on a gendered and practice-oriented approach, exploring territories of domination and empowerment that inform the negotiation of difference. Studies follow processes of emancipation, family practices, redistribution of gendered roles, forms of abuse, social remittance, confrontation between rights and cultures, forming joint action strategies and egalitarian capital, in a process of emergence of new social actors. Studies reflect back upon the ambiguity of conceptual frameworks to be put to use while approaching this yet unexplored area.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Transnational Difference – Cosmopolitan Meaning (Áron Telegdi-Csetri / Viorela Ducu)
  • Transnational Families in a Gendered Perspective
  • Partitioned Paternity: Models of Cross-Border Fathering in Ukrainian Transnational Families (Alissa Tolstokorova)
  • How Family and Emotional Ties Are Used as Coercive Instruments by the Exploiters on the Romanian Feminine Migration. The Study Case of Italy (Rafaela Hilario Pascoal / Adina Nicoleta Erica Schwartz)
  • The Issue of Emancipation in the Case of Romanian Migrant Women (Anca Raluca Aștilean)
  • Gendered Work-Family Balance in Migration: Albanian Migrants in Greece (Armela Xhaho / Erka Çaro)
  • Couples within the Context of Migration
  • Egalitarian Capital Gained in Norway or Brought from Poland? Experiences of Migration and Gender Equality among Polish Couples in Norway (Magdalena Żadkowska / Tomasz Szlendak)
  • Global Migration and Intermarriage in Chinese-Hungarian Context (Nóra Kovács)
  • Bi-national Couples with a Romanian Partner in the European Context (Viorela Ducu / Iulia Hossu)
  • Challenges of Transnationalism towards Childhood
  • Yesterday’s Children, Today’s Youth: The Experiences of Children Left behind by Romanian Migrant Parents (Georgiana-Cristina Rentea / Laura-Elena Rotărescu)
  • Intercountry Adoption: a Human Rights Perspective (Bojan Perovic)
  • Index

| 7 →


This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-2087.

The articles published herein have been gathered on occasion of two events, Workshop “Managing “difference” in East-European TF at The 18th Nordic Migration Conference, Oslo, 11–12 August” and Panel: “New Families, Old Societies – New Challenges of Migration for Families in their Countries of Origin at The 4th International Conference of the Romanian Sociological Society – Sibiu, 29th of September – 1st of October 2016”, organized by the research team members. The focal topic of these were Eastern-European transnational families. The calls were designed to refer to both EU and non-EU member countries.

Thanks of the editors go to authors for their prompt and esteemed contributions, and for team members for their support in creating this book.

The cover image has been taken by Călin Ilea, a team member, during fieldwork.

Not least, gratitude is owed to the Institute hosting this project, the Centre for Population Study by the Babeș-Bolyai University.

| 9 →

Notes on Contributors

Viorela Ducu has a strong research interest in alternative family types, such as ethnically/nationally mixed and transnational families. Her publications include: Romanian Migrant Women’s Response to their Discrimination, in Migration, Familie und soziale Lage: Beiträge zu Bildung, Gender und Care, Eds. Thomas Geisen, Tobias Studer, Erol Yildiz, 2013 Springer VS and Strategies of Transnational Motherhood: the Case of Romanian Women, 2013, Argonaut, Cluj Napoca and Displaying Ethnically Mixed Families in Transylvania, in Supplement to the Transylvanian Review, 2016. At present, she is a post-doctoral researcher in the project “Intergenerational solidarity in the context of work migration abroad. The situation of elderly left at home” and principal investigator of the project Confronting difference through the practices of transnational families at the Centre for Population Studies, at the Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca.

Áron Telegdi-Csetri, PhD in Political Philosophy, has dealt with Kant’s political philosophy in his thesis, reaching out towards contemporary cosmopolitanism in his post-doctoral projects. He has interests in models of cosmopolitanism and transnationalism, with an emphasis on cosmopolitan education and socialization. His publications include: Kant’s Cosmopolitics, Contemporary Issues and Global Debates (co-editor with Garrett W. Brown), Edinburgh University Press; Kant’s Cosmopolitanism. The Political Radicalization of the Kantian Idea of Philosophy in a Cosmopolitan Sense (author), Zeta Books, București; Problematizing Cosmopolitanism (editor), Argonaut, Cluj Napoca. At present, he is Voluntary Researcher in the project Confronting difference through the practices of transnational families at the Center for Population Studies at the Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca.

Alissa Tolstokorova holds a PhD degree for a dissertation in Gender Studies. Currently is an independent scholar in women’s, gender and family issues. Previously held positions of a head of research experts group at the International School for Equal Opportunities; Director of the Centre for Research on Family and Gender at the State Institute for Family and Youth at the Ministry of Ukraine on Family, Youth and Sports; senior researcher at the Gender Studies Centre at the State Institute for Family and Youth; a project coordinator in gender policy development at the Ukrainian Institute for Social Research in Kyiv, etc. Recipient of 6 international scholarships for research and teaching in social sciences. Made paper presentations at over 40 national and 40 international academic gatherings. Author of around 200 publications in 9 languages. Current research activities ← 9 | 10 → include studies about gendered aspects of labour migration from Ukraine, transnational family, care economy, academic migration, etc.

Rafaela Pascoal is a PhD student of Human Rights, at the University of Palermo with the thesis The role of vulnerability of Nigerian and Romanian women leading to sexual exploitation. Motherhood as being a double vulnerability. In 2012, she has concluded her Master in Human Rights, University of Bologna, with the thesis The situation of the Nigerian human trafficking victims and their children in Italy. The study case of Palermo. In the last 4 years she has collaborated with the CISS association on the subjects of Human Trafficking, migration and gender violence. In 2016 she has participated as a speaker in the conference “Traite des êtres humains et migrations dans le bassin méditerranéen” and in the “Conference Escapes”. Currently, she is in her study visiting period in Romania for field research.

Adina Nicoleta Erica Schwartz is a researcher in the field of criminology, with focus on the victims’ rights and victim assistance. She is a multidisciplinary, international PhD student at the West University of Timisoara – Doctoral School of Sociology and University of Palermo – Doctoral School of Law. The theme of the doctoral research is the assistance to the drug addicted, sexually exploited victims of human trafficking. Also, she is the head of the “Justice” department of Pro Prietenia Arad Foundation, involved in preventing human trafficking and assisting the victims of this crime.

Anca Aștilean is a second year PhD candidate in the sociology, anthropology field with the topic “Gender empowerment and the new wave of Islamic Feminism in Palestine”. Furthermore, she has proficiency with the video field with an extensive video editing knowledge and a completed French documentary film in the portfolio. Her domains of interest include topics involving Muslim women, the Middle East, Islamic Feminism and Feminism as well as Media and Terrorism studies. At present, she is assistant researcher in the project Confronting difference through the practices of transnational families at the Center for Population Studies at the Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca.

Armela Xhabo is a PhD Research Fellow at the University of New York Tirana /RRPP working on the project “Industrial Citizenship and Migration from Western Balkans”. She holds a MA on Gender Studies from Central European University, Budapest. Her interdisciplinary research activities include participation in many scientific social related research programs, more than 8 years expertise in project coordination and fundraising in civil society organizations, peer education/ ← 10 | 11 → trainings and gender consultancy. Her main research interests include Gender and Migration, Gender and labor regimes, Transnational families; Industrial Citizenship, Feminist and Masculinity Studies.

Dr. Erka Çaro is a Researcher and lecturer at the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She completed her PhD in 2011 in Population Studies from the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. Actually she is the Principal Coordinator of the project “Industrial Citizenship and Migration from Western Balkans”. Her research interests include migration and development; ethnography and anthropology; gender studies, labor migration, labor market regimes and welfare states; refugee studies; gender studies; social policy and inequalities, industrial relations and citizenship studies.

Magdalena Żadkowska PhD, is an assistant professor of the Faculty Social Sciences (University of Gdańsk). Magdalena is a researcher and coach dealing with couples and their work-life-balance in every-day life, partnership and domestic duties. Magdalena leads Work Package devoted to qualitative study on couples going to work in Norway in: Par Migration Navigator Project. She also takes part in the Polish project So you are staying at home?. An author of articles and chapters in books concerning: fatherhood, parenting, migration and gender roles.

Tomasz Szlendak, Professor of Sociology and Head of the Institute of Sociology at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland. Publications include: ‘Supermarketization: Religion and Sexual Customs of Youth in Consumer Culture’ (2004), The Sociology of Families: Evolution, History, Diversity’ (2011), ‘Heritage in Action: Re-enactment Movement as a Way of Participation in Culture’ (2012) and ‘The Neglected Playground’ (2003).

Nóra Kovács is a sociocultural anthropologist working at the Minority Studies Institute of the Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. She studied extensively various aspects of the migratory processes between Argentina and Hungary. Her research interests include the anthropology of human movement. Her most recent research focuses on intimate relations between Chinese migrants and members of Hungarian society and on ideological aspects of ethnic return migration. She is the editor of Intersections: East European Journal of Society and Politics.

Iulia-Elena Hossu works as scientific researcher within ISPMN. She is a founding member of Triba Film, independent documentary film production company. ← 11 | 12 → She has a focus on visual anthropology: she has worked as a camera operator and field researcher for the documentary film Flori de mac (Romania, 2013, 55 mins, director Enikő Magyari-Vincze) and is the co-director of the documentary Valea Plângerii (Romania, 2013, 58 mins, directors Mihai Andrei Leaha, Iulia Hossu, Andrei Crişan) multi-award winner at the international level. At present, she is post-doctoral researcher in the project Confronting difference through the practices of transnational families at the Center for Population Studies at the Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2017 (July)
Family Practices Transnational Parenting Migrants' Children Gendered Migration Bi-national Couples Migrant Empowerment
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 190 pp.

Biographical notes

Viorela Ducu (Volume editor) Áron Telegdi-Csetri (Volume editor)

Viorela Ducu is the principal investigator of the project «Confronting difference through the practices of transnational families» at the Centre for Population Studies in Cluj-Napoca. Áron Telegdi-Csetri is a voluntary researcher in the project «Confronting difference through the practices of transnational families» at the Centre for Population Studies, Cluj-Napoca.


Title: Managing «Difference» in Eastern-European Transnational Families