The Role of Emotions in the Construction of Masculinity: Guatemalan Migrant Men, Transnational Migration, and Family Relations


Montes, Veronica. 2013. “The Role of Emotions in the Construction of Masculinity: Guatemalan Migrant Men, Transnational Migration, and Family Relations.” Gender & Society 27 (4): 469-90. doi:10.1177/0891243212470491.

Author: Veronica Montes


This article examines how migration contributes to the plurality of masculinities among Guatemalan men, particularly among migrant men and their families. I argue that migration offers an opportunity to men, both migrant and nonmigrant, to reflect on their emotional relations with distinct family members, and show how, by engaging in this reflexivity, these men also have the opportunity to vent those emotions in a way that offsets some of the negative traits associated to a hegemonic masculinity, such as being unemotional, nonnurturing, aggressive, and dispassionate. This study contributes to transnational migration studies in three ways: (1) by examining the more personal and emotional side of transnational life, (2) by examining ways in which men step away from culturally expected hegemonic masculine identity, and (3) by providing an empirical study of subaltern masculinities, particularly among transnational immigrant men. Drawing on multi-sited, in-depth interviews conducted in Guatemala and California, my research contributes to our understanding of the emotional costs of transnational migration for migrants and their families, particularly for men, by examining the interplay among gender, family, and transnational migration.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Households Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 2013

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