Contemporary Challenges to the Motherhood Myth
10. A Tale of Morality, Class, and Transnational Mothering: Broadening and Constraining Motherhood in Mammoth
By RACHEL D. DAVIDSON & LARA C. STACHE
In the past few decades, transnational mothering has been a topic that has garnered growing interest from scholars due to the large numbers of mothers who are leaving their home countries and families to seek employment in the United States (e.g., Hondagneu-Sotelo & Avila, 1997; Horton, 2010; Parrenas, 2001; Parrenas, 2010). Bahira Sherif Trask (2013) suggests that “although migration is not a new occurrence, it has expanded with respect to numbers and significance since 1945” (p. 20). Further, Trask (2013) reports, “As of 2005 approximately 191 million individuals, or 3.0% of the world population, were living outside of their native countries” (p. 20) and “approximately 38 million foreign-born individuals, constituting about 13% of the population” are currently residing in the U.S. (p. 21). Transnational mothering often enters conversations regarding migration because transnational mothers leave their home countries and families in order to gain better opportunities and money earning potential in the U.S. Many transnational mothers take on domestic work, such as caring for children in Western homes, and Parrenas (2010) suggests this “migration takes women outside of the confines of the home, thus disrupting the ideology of female domesticity” (p. 1826). Transnational mothering, according to Quintero Escobar (2010), challenges “mainstream western ideas about family configuration and in particular, about women’s mothering role” (p. 2) because migrating mothers are physically separated from their children in order to financially provide for the family. Thus, for transnational mothers, caring for their...
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