Conference Agenda

RN35_03c: Family and Gender Relations in Current Migration Contexts
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Anna Schnitzer, University of Zurich
Location: BS.G.33
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Ground Floor Oxford Road


Doing Family and Education in Migration Contexts

Eveline Reisenauer

Deutsches Jugendinstitut, Germany

Even if different ways of life and lifestyles are currently observable in the context of family and migration, there is a noticeable knowledge deficit in terms of family relationships and education in migrant families. This contribution is aimed at this obvious gap in research by focusing on migration-specific ideas and practices of education. The relationship between family, education and migration will be carried out on the basis of the research project “Diversität und Wandel der Erziehung in Migrantenfamilien aus der Perspektive von Eltern und Fachpraxis” (Diversity and change of education in migrant families from the perspective of parents and professional experience; DIWAN). In particular, a view to migration contexts promotes the awareness that a restriction of the family to the model of the unilocal nuclear family possess considerable shortcomings. Firstly, migrant families – as families in general – can be differentiated in terms of their partnership and family arrangements, such as non-marital family situations, single-parent families, patchwork families and homosexual parenting partners. Secondly, different migration characteristics can be identified, including diverse countries of origin, migrant biographies, residence statuses and educational backgrounds. Thirdly, it is to be distinguished whether the entire family migrates together or rather only a part of the family, whereby in the second case transnational family constellations emerge. However, neither this increasing diversity of the (migratory) family life, nor the culturally transmitted ideas and practices of education involved are sufficiently considered in scientific research. This contribution examines how ideas and practices related to parental education are affected by migration experiences of families.

From French Mothers To Migrant Mothers: Narratives Of Transformations, Lost Privileges And The ‘Quieter’ Everyday In Brexit Britain.

Benedicte Alexina Melanie Brahic

Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

Based on data collected via participant observations and a series of semi-structured interviews with French migrant mothers living in Manchester, this paper focuses on a key dimension of transnational family relations and brings to the fore questions central to the field of transnational family justice, namely the impact of uncertain migratory contexts on migrant mothering and family relations. Through a focus on the affective journeys of French migrant mothers in the changing context of Brexit Britain, this paper explores how the decision of Britain to leave the European Union impacts on their identities as mothers and their mothering practices. Beyond the exploration of the impact of a localised event, this paper points to the affective dimension of citizenship statuses and its susceptibility to political contexts. It also highlights the need for the terminology used among researchers in migration and ethnic studies to reflect the affective dimension attached to different migrant statuses to reveal some of their more subtle dynamics.

Conceptualising Sexual and Gender-based Violence Against Refugees: policy makers, non-government and international organisations and service providers in Turkey and Sweden

Hannah Bradby1, Saime Ozcurumez2, Selin Akyuz2

1Uppsala University, Sweden; 2Bilkent University, Turkey

This paper draws on an investigation of how sexual and gender-based violence has been conceptualized and experienced by refugees fleeing conflict in the Levant and by the agencies involved in migrants’ protection, support and governance (Sereda ). Interviews with policy makers, non-government and international organisations and service providers in Turkey and Sweden are examined for constructions of sexual and gender based violence and how such violence is understood to articulate with the different stages of forced migration: displacement, exile, arrival and settlement. Earlier assumptions that violence was associated primarily with displacement and exile, but mitigated once refugee status was granted, are giving way to recognition of the entangled nature of structural, militarized and interpersonal violence. Different constructions of sexual and gender-based violence are available for actors to draw upon, depending on whether or not intimate and stranger violence are categorized as criminal and on the popular understandings of the forms of violence that are acceptable or unavoidable. Gender-based violence has uncertain status in claiming refugee status with the reception of forced migrants implicated in compounding the harm of violence: migration governance, the process of applying for asylum, gaining documented residency and settlement can be experienced as a form of violence. Statutory and NGO actors are making meaning around refugees’ protection from gender based violence in a highly complex, contested and constrained legal, policy, political and moral landscape. We navigate these complexities using a social constructivist approach, to inform models of protection and prevention that accommodate refugees’ own priorities.

“They Put Me In A Freezer And They Closed The Door”: The Lived Experiences Of Syrian Refugee Families Resettled In The UK

Hannah Haycox

The University of Manchester, United Kingdom

This paper will explore the lived experiences of Syrian refugee families resettled as part of the UK’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme. Distinct from various EU member state policies and the UK’s mainstream asylum dispersal model, the VPRP constitutes the UK government’s unilateral response to forced migration as a result of the Syrian civil war. The immediate granting of recourse to public funds, temporary protection and permission to work is accompanied by feminised and depoliticised representations which position Syrian families as the inherently ‘deserving’ victims of the Syrian war. However, the continual cultivation of Islamophobia in a post-Brexit UK, the replication of explicitly racialised paradigms of ‘integration’ and the exacerbation of existing inequalities due to continuing austerity measures fail to actualise the proposed panacea to Syrian families’ struggles. Drawing on two geographical locations in the North West, this paper explores the impact and experiences of two different local approaches to refugee resettlement. Existing inequalities which interact and intersect across refugee families’ experiences in both locations are identified and evaluated. Enforced destitution, racialised social policy and historically entrenched policy responses to forced migrants are suggested as reifying socio-cultural and economic boundaries within which refugee families are forced to navigate and negotiate.