Bolivian Transnational Families in Barcelona: Institutional Configurations and Care Arrangements

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Distributed Paper
Thales SPERONI PEREIRA DA CRUZ, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
The transnationalization of families has often been conceived as a rational strategy for maximizing opportunities or as a direct effect of structural constraints to migration. From the contemporary debate on social recognition (Honneth & Fraser) our attempt is to contribute to set up an alternative standpoint, that emphasizes the moral dimension of the transnational families, and consequently, of the contemporary international mobility. In this sense, we conceive the transnational families as multi-sited and morally motivated strategies of resilience to face social, legal and economic deprivations, and the care arrangements that they promote as a kind of moral economy (Baldassar & Merla).

The present communication aims to highlight that the arrangement of care in transnational families is a daily and permanent effort of conjugation of partial rights, unstable social statuses and multi-sited family responsibilities, in order to struggle for the achievement of families’ conceptions of good life. Therefore, we focus on how the obstacles imposed by welfare and citizenship regimes, and by modes of labor organization, both in origin and destination, interact with the care configurations within the transnational families. In a broad sense, our proposition is to explain the crossing points, through different social scales, between the legal, the productive and the reproductive migrants’ worlds.

This article presents the partial results of the doctoral project “Bolivian transnational families in Barcelona and São Paulo: institutional configurations and migrant autonomy” developed with the support of the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel of Brazil (CAPES). Based on family life history interviews (Bertaux & Delcroix) performed in Barcelona, we tried to understand the interfaces between access / deprivation of rights and the different means of labor insertion, both in Bolivia and in Spain, and the care arrangements through the families’ history.