Class, culture, migration and mothering
6 “THE FAMILY” - 139
139 6 “The Family” In his article On the Family as a Realised Category, Bourdieu (1996) argues that the family is an important site for generating social and cul- tural production and reproduction. In Chinese tradition, extended fami- lies are involved in childcare and childrearing. Grandparents’ involve- ment in daily childcare was and is still common. However, in the previ- ous chapter, the participants talked about extended family support as ei- ther unavailable or inadequate to them in New Zealand compared to what they could have had in China. Ho (2004) describes that Chinese female migrants in Australia experienced heavier domestic workloads coupled with downward career motilities. As a result, the women played a more traditional role as mothers and wives after migration. Ho called this phenomenon “feminisation”. The migrant mothers in the current study experienced similar “feminisation”. So how did the women deal with changes within the family during the process of social and cultural production and reproduction? This chapter examines this issue by focus- ing on three areas. First, “two generations” investigates the extended family support for childcare. Second, “gendered parenthood” examines the gendered roles that fathers and mothers played in childcare and child- rearing. Third, “mothering and paid work” describes the mothers’ daily juggling of household work, childrearing/childcare, and paid work. Two Generations The Industrial Revolution has changed people’s ways of production and consequently reproduction. In a feudal society, home is an economic unit – people either work at their own home or in other people’s homes. With...
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