Changing Lifestyles in Transforming Societies
Edited By Airi-Alina Allaste
Migrant career women’s discursive (re)constructions of their domestic partners’ masculine identities: Marion Pajumets, Jeff Hearn
Migrant career women’s discursive (re)constructions of their domestic partners’ masculine identities Marion Pajumets, Jeff Hearn Introduction Cross-border migration from ‘New Europe’ to the welfare democracies of ‘Old Europe’ has often been studied as an economic, or demographic, issue that does not appear to have significant gender dimensions. This analysis complements the supposedly gender neutral macro-perspective view, by seeing gendered well- being as a constitutive element of migration, permeating migrants’ acculturation in the host country and their decision to stay, or move on, to a third country or return to their country of origin, either as a family, or individually. Indeed, masculinities and femininities may challenge migration decisions, just as they are often challenged by migration experiences. It becomes compli- cated to construct one’s gender identity if the host country’s gender system dif- fers considerably from that which one originates, and is used to. And even if the gender system is not so dissimilar, one might, in the new context, command less status and reduced resources to feel an ‘adequate’ man or woman, mother or fa- ther. On the other hand, and importantly, people may also, even simultaneously, see migration as an opportunity in terms of gender identity and gendered well- being. A new and changed gender environment may facilitate reconsideration of the content of masculinity and femininity, and this process might be positively embraced by some migrants (for example, some gay migrants who expatriate to sexually more liberal countries). This chapter focuses on what we see as a theoretically...
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