Life Strategies in the Context of Societal Inequalities and Asymmetrical Migration and Gender Relations – Intergenerational Transmissions

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 31 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Lalitha CHAMAKALAYIL, University of Applied Sciences and Art, Northwestern Switzerland, Switzerland
Christine RIEGEL, University of Education Freiburg, Germany
In our paper we explore how women, who are faced with ascriptions to be the ‚migration other’, develop ways of dealing with social inequalities, asymmetrical gender relations and hegemonic racialised and gendered power structures. Our focus lies on how these ways of dealing are transmitted and/or transformed intergenerationally and within a family and how continuities, as well as modifications and disruptions in transmissions between mothers and daughters can be reconstructed.

The qualitative data for our paper – collected via group discussions with families and biographical interviews – is from a European research project focusing on life strategies of families with a migration background in marginalized urban neighbourhoods in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In our theoretical approach, family members are seen as actively dealing and negotiating with societal circumstances and social meanings (Wacquant 2006). Their strategies are analysed, with regard to enabling and hindering contexts, which shape each person’s scope of possibilities (Holzkamp 1983). Our research project aims to transcend beyond the deficit-oriented perspective without neglecting the social and societal challenges families have to deal with (Riegel/Yildiz 2011).

We would like to show how under conditions of migration, and societal inclusion and exclusion processes connected with it, certain ways of dealing are transmitted and or transformed. We ask in which ways life strategies (with a focus on education and care work) of mothers and daughters are connected and in which way, implicitly or explicitly, connections to the other generation are made and how gender and generation contexts are made relevant.

The transmissions, transformations and disruptions in intergenerational mother- daughter-relationships and strategies connected to dealing with gender and generation will be analysed in their societal intersections and interplay with racialised and gendered power and inequality conditions.