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Session Overview
RN13_11b_P: Migrant, Multicultural and Transnational Families III
Friday, 01/Sep/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Beat Fux, University of Salzburg
Session Chair: Ronny König, University of Zurich
Location: PD.4.36
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: D, Level: 4.

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Work-life reconciliation strategies of non-EU migrant families in a specific institutional and structural context of the Czech Republic

Lenka Formánková

Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

What are the care arrangements of the non-EU migrant families and its impact on the family relations? We are focusing on care arrangements of migrant families in the context of a specific post-state socialist country - the Czech Republic - and apply it to map strategies of this families in combining childcare and paid work. In the analysis, we focus on the largest non-EU migrant communities in the Czech Republic - those of Vietnamese and Ukrainian. Third country nationals often face strong work pressures, economic difficulties, racial and social discrimination, and contrasting cultural and religious values; thus, the reconciliation of work and family life is likely to be a sensitive issue, revealing tensions and vulnerabilities specific of migrant families. By focusing on a very specific but crucial problem of work–life reconciliation strategies in migrant families with children under ten, we will be able to understand the opportunities and barriers that group of migrants face and in the same time to gain insight into the integration processes. We are seeking to answer the following question: What are the care arrangements of the Vietnamese and Ukrainian migrant families and its impact on the family relations in the Czech Republic? The analysis builds on an institutional analysis of migration policies and welfare state programmes and statistical analysis of the migrant populations.

How do Polish and Icelandic parents decide how to divide parental leave?

Asdis Adalbjorg Arnalds, Gudny Björk Eydal

University of Iceland, Iceland

In 2000 a new law on paid parental leave was introduced in Iceland that provided fathers with three months of father’s quota, which at the time was the longest non-transferable period of parental leave for fathers in the world (Moss & O’Brian, 2006). Since the law was enacted, the majority of fathers have made use of their non-transferable right to leave. Although research has focused on variations in leave use (Eydal, 2008), none has addressed the question of how immigrant parents make use of their right to parental leave. Poles constitute the largest group of migrants in Iceland, and the presented study addresses the question of how parental leave is used by Polish migrating parents who had their first child in 2009 compared to parents that are born and raised in Iceland.

A web-survey and qualitative interviews were used to compare patterns of leave use for the two groups of parents. The study uses the concept of family practices, introduced by Morgan (1996) to investigate how parents negotiate work and family life arrangements within the same framework of family policies. The study also draws on the theoretical perspective of transnationalism (McCarthy and Edwards, 2011), which provides an understanding of how kinship networks across borders shape the way parental leave is used. The findings show how parent’s decisions on how to divide parental leave are shaped by past experiences, relationships and social networks, work orientation and their views towards the role of men and women in the upbringing of children.

Mapping the role of ‘transnational family habitus’ in the lives of young people and children

Elisabetta Zontini1, Tracey Reynolds2

1University of Nottingham, United Kingdom; 2University of Greenwich, United Kingdom

In this paper we develop the concept of ‘transnational family habitus’ as a theoretical tool for making sense of the ways in which children and young people of migrant background are ‘doing families’ transnationally. Drawing on over a decade long cumulative research on Caribbean and Italian families in the UK, as well as on a new joint research project, the paper firstly investigates the opportunities and consequences of a transnational family habitus on family arrangements, kinship relationships and identity within a transnational context. Secondly, it analyses the role of these young people’s structural location in Britain in shaping the boundaries of their transnational family habitus. We argue that a transnational family habitus should be seen as asset, which can potentially disrupt conventional understandings of belonging and processes of inclusion and exclusion. However, we also detail how social divisions of class, race, and increasingly migration status, shape such habitus.

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