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    Negotiating daughterhood and strangerhood: retrospective accounts of serial migration

    Phoenix, A. and Seu, Irene Bruna (2013) Negotiating daughterhood and strangerhood: retrospective accounts of serial migration. Feminism and Psychology 23 (3), pp. 299-316. ISSN 0959-3535.

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    Most considerations of daughtering and mothering take for granted that the subjectivities of mothers and daughters are negotiated in contexts of physical proximity throughout daughters’ childhoods. Yet many mothers and daughters spend periods separated from each other, sometimes across national borders. Globally, an increasing number of children experience life in transnational families. This paper examines the retrospective narratives of four women who were serial migrants as children (whose parents migrated before they did) . It focuses on their accounts of the reunion with their mothers and how these fit with the ways in which they construct their mother-daughter relationships. We take a psychosocial approach by using a psychoanalytically-informed reading of these narratives to acknowledge the complexities of the attachments produced in the context of migration and to attend to the multi-layered psychodynamics of the resulting relationships. The paper argues that serial migration positioned many of the daughters in a conflictual emotional landscape from which they had to negotiate ‘strangerhood’ in the context of sadness at leaving people to whom they were attached in order to join their mothers (or parents). As a result, many were resistant to being positioned as daughters, doing daughtering and being mothered in their new homes.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Attachment, mother-daughter relationships, narratives, psychosocial, serial migration, transnational families
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics (MAMSIE), Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS), Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for (BISR)
    Depositing User: Bruna Seu
    Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2013 12:04
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:02


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