Migrant Women’s Transnationalism: Family Patterns and Policies: Migrant Women’s Transnationalism


Pajnik, Mojca, and Veronika Bajt. 2012. “Migrant Women’s Transnationalism: Family Patterns and Policies: Migrant Women’s Transnationalism.” International Migration 50 (5): 153–68. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00613.x.

Authors: Mojca Pajnik, Veronika Bajt


Whereas current policies on migration and integration are beginning to recognise family reunion as one of the most legitimate reasons for acceptance by a host society, they in most cases still do not account for the growing trend of feminisation of migration, and even rarely do they address specific migrants’ needs. As currently constituted, the integration bills envision a one-way process that places migrants into a position where they cannot question, but only accept and fulfil the predetermined requirements of integration plans. But who are the women that migrate, what influence do their transnational experiences have on their families, and how do migration policies envision the reality of increasing transnationalism? This paper focuses on biographical interviews with migrant women in Slovenia as a valuable method to question current integration measurements, applied here to explore female migrants’ experiences in transnational family life and social networks. A gender sensitive approach is applied that critically evaluates the specificities of family reunification policies, which define women migrants as dependent family members. We discuss life trajectories of women migrants, focusing the debate on their own experiences in and with family life. This new empirical material is used to theorise gaps in contemporary migration research. Women migrants’ own reflections of transnational family ties show a great variety of experiences and their narratives are a unique window into motivational, political, as well as legal dimensions of migration.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Nationalism

Year: 2012

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