New Book: Families, Children and Young Immigrants: Braking Stereotypes
This book brings together the papers presented at the Symposium Families: children and young migrants breaking stereotypes, coordinated by the Interdisciplinary Group of Migrant Researches (GIIM) and held in La Casa Encendida of Caja Madrid Foundation, on November 19-21, 2008.
The main purpose of this initiative —which today is carried out with the presentation of this work— was to reflect collectively on family migration processes from a transnational perspective and with special attention to women, children, girls and young immigrants.
Our objective was to facilitate a meeting between researchers and research of national and international, professionals, social partners and policy makers to submit, analyze and discuss the results of recent research on these issues, and its relevance to everyday practices and migration policies and family.
From the acceleration and feminization of migratory flows, in the early twenty-first century, transnational mothers and their families are consolidating new social fields, expanding national boundaries and improvising motherhood strategies, a fact that comes as a high-cost odyssey emotional and economic. The renegotiation of these roles has been conducted in a context often adverse for women migrants.
Some research shows that the consolidation of processes of transnational families is due in large part to legal restrictions to make the reunification of the children on arrival. In this transnational context —where cultural belonging, the dilemma of return and the permanent settlement, the discrimination of class, gender and ethnicity, is interwoven with feelings of xenophobia and racist attitudes— the sons and daughters of immigrant families must build their own and unique belonging.
In societies of in-migration, from countries colonized populations, and phenotypic characteristics different from those considered indigenous, suffer from over exposure in the media and social spaces in which they participate. This constructs stereotypes that affect their daily lives, especially in the educational system and social and health services. Sometimes, mothers —more than families— become the subject of a disturbing representation that hides processes and singular social realities in the context of migration. As evidenced by some of the research presented here, their children are likely to get involved in the old and new forms of inequality.