Multi-Sited Approaches in Analysing Gender Constructions in the Migration Process: Based on the Example of Migration Between Cuba and Germany

Friday, July 18, 2014: 8:45 AM
Room: Booth 60
Oral Presentation
Rosa BRANDHORST , Center of Methods in Social Sciences, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany

How to research the social construction of gender in transcultural research settings? The study of gender in transcultural research settings implies newly arising methodological challenges for interpretative research. In this paper I will present a biographical case study of Cuban migrants in Germany and their transnational ties to their family of origin conducted from 2006 to 2013, which indicates how gender categories and constructions are reworked and reinterpreted during the migration process. Especially the transnational and transcultural negotiation of gender and familial roles can be observed. Women of female headed families in Cuba for instance have to adapt to the nuclear family expectations in Germany while simultaneously economically supporting their family of origin and performing the role of the main breadwinner in Cuba. Also the appropriation of external ethnic- and gender categorizations and ascriptions of a Cuban or “Latino” man in the host society Germany can be observed in another case. Hence, the study of the changing or persisting gender categories in transnational migration reveals the need for a multi-sited approach, researching the social construction of gender in the sending and in the receiving society and the mutual influences and exchanges between these two. Thus, in my paper I make a plea for a multi-sited perspective in the reconstructive analysis of biographical interviews focusing on both societal and cultural contexts, in which gender constructions are produced.