Bridging Goffman’s Ideas with ‘Family Display’ in Analysing Stigmatization of Transnational Mothering

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Irma BUDGINAITĖ, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Irena JUOZELIUNIENE, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Ginte MARTINKENE, Vilnius University, Lithuania
This paper aims to examine how migration induced changes in mothering become transformed into troubles by bringing stigmatizing portrays of transnational mothering in mass media and official documents. Basing on the analysis of the selected articles on transnational families published between 2004 and 2014 in national press and internet media portals in Lithuania along with interviews with transnational mothers conducted between 2004-2014, we raise questions, how changes in mothering due to migration come to be constructed as troubles and how it is experienced by mothers who emigrate to work abroad while their children remain living in the country of origin. The authors bridge Erving Goffman’s ideas with the current frame of family display suggested by Janet Finch to extend the understanding about the ways mothers practice motherhood across borders and how the scripts of ‘good mothering’ displays are transformed through multi-local interactions. The analysis of portraying of transnational mothers in mass media demonstrates how mothering across borders is stigmatized. The cases discussed by the authors show the ways transnational mothers reported that they performed specific mothering practices and claimed that these practices should be acknowledged. The analysis of newly emerging transnational practices gives empirical evidence to the assumption that transnational mothers not simply ‘follow’ scripts but also shift them and create new stories of mothering.