Family Habitus and Transnational Families: Mapping Gender and Generational Borders and Relations through the Lens of Migrant Youths

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:39
Location: Hörsaal 31 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Tracey REYNOLDS, Greenwich University, United Kingdom
Elisabetta ZONTINI, University of Nottigham, United Kingdom
Transnational families give substance to what Castells (2000) daubed ‘the network society’, and whilst it is importance to recognize the jurisdictional context of the nation-state as a given of the transnational families experience, in our paper we argue that cultural worlds that transnational families occupy are equally relevant.  Drawing on our empirical study of migrant youths’ transnational family experiences in the UK, we discuss how processes of globalization, structural processes of inclusion/exclusion  operate to facilitate and constrain these young adults experiences of family life across national, gender and generational borders.  Our specific focus on adolescent and young adults from migrant reflects the fact that there is still limited research attention being paid to the transnational family lives of migrant youths. Comparing the experiences of highly-skilled and mobile migrant youths, alongside low-skilled and less mobile migrant youths we explore for these differing groups family relations within a transnational social field. Influenced by Bourdieu’s notion of ‘habitus’  (1986) we also examine  to what extent the transnational family practices of these migrant youths are ‘family habitus’: a structured set of values,  ways of thinking  and ‘being’  within the family that is built up over time through family socialization of culture and traditions (see Reynolds and Zontini 2013; Reynolds and Zontini 2014).  In doing so, particular attention is given to the ways in which gender, generation and the social networks and resources (economic, social and cultural) families have access to, inform ‘family habitus’.