Negotiating Masculinities in the Context of Transnational Bolivian Families

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 11:15 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Alena PROFIT PACHIONI , University of Brasilia, Brazil
The transformation of gender identities and family models within migration projects increasingly highlights the gender perspective as an elementary variable of migration because "gender permeates a variety of practices, identities and institutions "(Hondagneu-Sotelo, 2000). While scholarship on Latin American migration and gender has concentrated on women, less research has been undertaken on migrant men; particularly in the research on transnational families.

Thirty percent of the Latin American immigrants to Brazil are Bolivian. Based on the theories of intersectionality and hegemonic masculinity, the paper draws on my research project aiming to understand how transnational Bolivian migrant men residing in the Brazilian capital Brasilia negotiate their masculinities in a context of transnational family relations.
To explore this issue, the paper draws on D'Aubeterre's (2001, p.32) observation to understand the transnational family as "a locus of social and emotional support but also as a field of conflicting movement of power relations between different members that constitute the family".

Moreover, according to Sinatti (2013) an intersectional understanding of family relations allows researchers to grasp how masculinities may be redefined as people move across cultural, social, and national borders, and as they encounter and cope with different regimes of power at the intersection of other social categories. The different dimensions the masculinities are negotiated in challenges associations with hegemonic masculinity and intersect with other variables such as ethnicity and class. In the context of the Bolivian migrant men and their families, the multiple localities they are finding themselves in influences the negotiation of the masculinities involving family -, care - and intimate relationships, father- and parenthood- not only within their family structure but from multiple perspectives.