This chapter explores the instillation of sentiments of feeling at home in a society where one is not recognized as a citizen, and links this instillation of sentiments to discourses of belonging and citizenship. Despite their undocumented status and the fact that they are ‘impossible subjects’ (Rassiguier 2010), deprived of basic human rights, this chapter argues that in their motherwork (Collins 1994) undocumented mothers are able to instill ‘feelings of home’ in themselves and their children. The instilling of sentiments of home has been argued as important to citizenship; however in scholarship on parenting and migration studies by people excluded from citizenship it remains largely unexplored. Nevertheless, taking undocumented women’s daily motherwork as a starting point opens up new possibilities for addressing and indeed redressing the motherwork they do as a collective concern and responsibility. Based on ethnographic research, the author argues that the mothering of undocumented migrant women can be seen as a practice of subject-making and belonging, achieved through repetitive practices which instil a sensory and emotional inscription in the body. This chapter thereby explores a reconceptualization of parenting practices of undocumented migrant mothers as a powerful tool to connect with others in society in its entirety. References: Collins, P.H. (1994), ‘Shifting the center: race, class, and feminist theorizing about motherhood’, in E.N. Glenn, G. Chang and L.R. Forcey (eds), Mothering: Ideology, Experience, and Agency, New York: Routledge, pp. 45–65. Rassiguier, C. (2010), Reinventing the Republic. Gender, Migration and Citizenship in France, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
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Tine Kil, Karel Neels and Jorik Vergauwen
Over the last 50 years the gendered division of paid work in European households has become more equal. This evolution only partly entailed a more equal distribution of unpaid work. This chapter aims to examine how gender inequality in the division of housework varies across different stages of the life course and across different cultural and institutional contexts. Using data from the fifth round (2010) of the European Social Survey a sample of 24 045 heterosexual couples from 24 different countries was selected. Using multilevel models the authors examined how the distribution of domestic work over the life course is affected by: (1) individual-level and household-level characteristics such as time availability, relative resources and gender ideology; (2) the cultural and institutional context; and (3) whether cross-level interactions play a role. Results show that a progressive gender ideology has a relatively small positive influence on gender equality for couples with young children. But this effect depends on the societal context as cross-level interactions suggest that parents succeed better in implementing their progressive ideas in a country with a progressive national gender culture and more full-time childcare. Hence, contextual variables play a role in reducing traditional gender roles following the birth of a child.
Edited by Dimitri Mortelmans, Koenraad Matthijs, Elisabeth Alofs and Barbara Segaert
Dimitri Mortelmans, Petra Meier and Christine Defever
In this chapter, the authors quantitatively investigate the notion of intersectionality in the accumulation of inequalities related to the household position of young adults. This period in life involves a number of significant demographic transitions such as leaving (the parental) home, finishing school, starting work, settling with a partner and/or becoming a parent, and is therefore quite vulnerable to accumulation processes of inequality, differing greatly by gender, ethnicity and social class. The authors use panel data from six countries in the Generations and Gender Programme and a classification and regression tree (CART) analysis to develop a full intersectional perspective crossing gender, migrant status and social class. They show that this analysis gives voice to groups that remain invisible when analysing the social categories separately and that this differs across contexts. They conclude that CART analysis may open new perspectives for approaching issues of intersectionality quantitatively, especially with respect to developing policies tackling the accumulation of inequalities.
Edited by Dimitri Mortelmans, Koenraad Matthijs, Elisabeth Alofs and Barbara Segaert
The identification of a genetically inherited disease, or a risk of disease, creates a context in which health, illness, risk and susceptibility to disease are subject to definition and redefinition. New genetic technologies may also transform everyday practical understandings of inheritance and relatedness. The chapter examines the experiences of individuals attending a clinical genetics service and their wider kindred, following the flow of information through families. Within this chapter the author presents one family case study (n = 10), using snowball sampling to carry out in-depth interviews with family members, following the flow of risk information from the proband (the first person to attend the clinic) through the kindred. This is done to examine the disclosure practices and exchange of genetic information among kin, which may be withheld or shared as part of the wider network of social relationships and information exchange that constitutes practical family membership. The author examines who constitutes kin, what the dynamics of information exchange are and how individuals negotiate practical decision-making within the context of genetic information and risk.
It is widely acknowledged that the theoretical perspectives that inform demographic inquiry have often come from elsewhere. While economic theory and econometric methods have played a particularly prominent role in the development of some areas of study, including the family, demography has remained remarkably impervious to the theoretical interventions of feminism and other critical perspectives. In this chapter, the author aims to demonstrate how demographic research would benefit from a more conscious consideration of a wider range of theoretical perspectives. To this end, she focuses primarily on one particular (broad and flexible) critical analytical concept – intersectionality – and one particular area of enquiry: the study of the family. Intersectionality, which Leslie McCall (2005, p. 1771) described as ‘one of the most important theoretical contributions of Women’s Studies, along with racial and ethnic studies, so far’, has been a fleet-footed traveller in the past couple of decades, but it has not, for some reason, crossed the border into the discipline of demography. It is noteworthy that we see virtually no references to ‘intersectionality’ on the pages of demography journals. For this reason, the chapter begins with a brief introduction to the concept of intersectionality. Focusing on the issues most relevant to quantitative research, the author outlines its theoretical premise and some of the broad methodological implications. Next, concrete examples illustrate how the application of intersectionality, as a critical and reflective lens, could contribute to the way demographers study families and family policies. The overarching aim is to initiate a discussion amongst the demographic community about the productive potential of adopting a more critical and interdisciplinary theoretical perspective. Reference: McCall, L. (2005), ‘The complexity of intersectionality’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 30 (3), 1771–1800.
Ramya Kumar, Anne-Emanuelle Birn and Peggy McDonough
In recent years a range of leading international health and development agencies have reasserted their commitment to addressing women’s health in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This renewed attention to maternal and child health (MCH) and family planning departs from the broader 1990s emphasis on reproductive health. It draws, instead, from prior MCH approaches entrenched in colonial exigencies and neocolonial population control strategies. This chapter analyses and contextualizes the trajectory of the ‘international women’s health agenda’ over the past quarter century. The authors begin by examining the key historical antecedents that gave rise to contemporary understandings of (international) women’s health. They then explore the social, political, and economic forces and players that have shaped the international women’s health agenda, from the 1994 Cairo/1995 Beijing conferences and the UN Millennium Project, to the Sustainable Development Goals. They demonstrate how a constellation of actors, including powerful states and certain ‘partner’ LMIC governments, international financial institutions, prominent private philanthropies and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and mainstream women’s health advocacy groups have shaped dominant definitions of, and responses to, women’s health ‘problems’ in the Global South. The authors suggest that narrowly conceiving women’s health as MCH/family planning aligns with neoliberal development discourses and transnational interests that in various forms have long influenced international and global health policy. They conclude by supporting an alternative approach to building a post-2015 women’s health agenda that moves beyond its current institutionalized arrangements to forge coalitions with radical women’s advocacy groups and grass-roots social justice movements.
James A. Smith, Noel Richardson and Steve Robertson
The state of men’s health, particularly the high levels of premature mortality amongst men, remains a cause for concern across much of the globe; though the reasons for this premature mortality may vary significantly in different countries and across different continents. Aggregate rates for mortality or longevity have to be treated with some caution as they can hide significant health inequalities across geographical areas and regions or across different groups of men in relation to social class, ethnicity, sexuality and other demographic factors. There is much then that the public health community could do to address these inequalities. This chapter begins by mapping the current issues in relation to men’s health, inequalities and public health and describes where discourses on ‘masculinities’ can fit into these debates. The authors then discuss the implications of this for men in the Global South, in particular approaches taking a gender relations or gender transformative position in dealing with issues such as reproductive health, sexual health and men’s violence. The chapter then moves on to consider the nuances of framing men’s health as an intersectoral endeavour. The authors unpack how a broader focus on men’s health can be embedded into public policy spaces both within and outside of the health sector through the adoption of Health in All Policies (HiAP) and gender mainstreaming approaches. In doing so, discourses of masculinities can be used to refocus men’s health discussions on issues relating to equity (where issues of social justice and fairness come into play) within a public policy space. The development of sex-specific health policies is a controversial part of current debates relating to men and public health responses. Case studies featuring the experiences of two countries that have developed and implemented men’s health policies, Ireland and Australia, are therefore explored in order to illustrate what lessons have been learnt in transitioning from policy development to implementation.