Migration Patterns

Transnational Labour Migration and the Politics of Care in the Southeast Asian Family

Author : Brenda S.A. Yeoh, Lan Anh Hoang, Anna Marie Wattie | 2017
Published By: Science Direct

Recent increases in female labour migration in and from Asia have triggered a surge of interest in how the absence of the mother and wife for extended periods of time affects the left-behind family, particularly children, in labour-sending countries. While migration studies in the region have shown that the extended family, especially female relatives, is often called on for support in childcare during the mother’s absence it is not yet clear how childcare arrangements are made. Drawing on in-depth interviews with non-parent carers of left-behind children in Indonesia and Vietnam, the paper aims to unveil complexities and nuances around care in the context of transnational labour migration. In so doing it draws attention to the enduring influence of social norms on the organisation of family life when women are increasingly drawn into the global labour market. By contrasting a predominantly patrilineal East Asian family structure in Vietnam with what is often understood as a bilateral South-East Asian family structure in Indonesia, the paper seeks to provide interesting comparative insights into the adaptive strategies that the transnational family pursues in order to cope with the reproductive vacuum left behind by the migrant mother.

URL : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016718511002181

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