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Managing «Difference» in Eastern-European Transnational Families

Edited By Viorela Ducu and Áron Telegdi-Csetri

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.

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Yesterday’s Children, Today’s Youth: The Experiences of Children Left behind by Romanian Migrant Parents (Georgiana-Cristina Rentea / Laura-Elena Rotărescu)

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Georgiana-Cristina Rentea, Laura-Elena Rotărescu

Yesterday’s Children, Today’s Youth: The Experiences of Children Left behind by Romanian Migrant Parents

Abstract This paper focuses on exploring the experiences of children from some Romanian villages concerning the effects of parental migration and highlighting the challenges and strategies of adaption lacking one or both parents’ support, the evolution of family relationship, individual and family life plans.

The migration process nowadays generates tremendous debates for developed countries concerning its consequences no matter what units of analysis we are referring to. Consequently, the transnational family as a result of emigration became a central issue to be analyzed in terms of its reconfiguration and arrangements that continue to exist even though its members are geographical separated but “holding together and creating something that can be seen as a feeling of collective welfare and unity, i.e. ‘familyhood’, even across national borders” (Bryceson and Vuorela, 2002). Schmalzbauer (2008, p. 331), analyzing the term of „frontiering” introduced by Bryceson and Vuorela (2002), argues that „transnational family members commonly negotiate in both friendly and confrontational ways to create identities, organize familial space, and sort out familial roles and expectations”. In this line the process of negotiation is affected not only by the geographical distance and its communication obstacles but also by changing in values or lifestyles brought by contact with another society, by expectations across generations or by decision to migrate.

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