Transnational families, religious participation and gender dynamics: Filipino, Sao Tomean and Indo-Mozambican immigrant women in Lisbon, Portugal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

In addition to being the object of policy and legal initiatives, families of migrant origin have become a focus of debate concerning differences and its limits. Migrants themselves, however, are also reflecting on how to manage family relationships in a changing world in which migration is mostly transnational. This article aims to discuss the influence of religious participation on the reconfiguration of processes of family dynamics promoted by three groups of migrant women who, while settled in Lisbon, maintain transnational ties with their countries of origin and with various diasporic spaces. Guiding research questions are: to what extent does religious participation provide migrant women with connections, networks and other intangible resources? How are these resources mobilised as ‘bonding’ and ‘bridging’ social capitals? Can such capitals become a conduit for the redefinition of family relations and female selfnarratives? Comparative analysis confirms that the three groups discussed not only mobilise religious belonging and ties to generate resources, but also convert these connections into social (and other forms of) capital, thus triggering desired changes that affect the lives of their children and families in both the short and long term. While migration does not alter long-standing patterns provided by their own respective sociocultural frames of belonging, our findings reveal that the three groups of interlocutors use religious participation to explore tactics, social capitals and mobility spaces and, further, to negotiate, without subverting, specific family inequality dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-343
Number of pages19
JournalGender Place And Culture
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Gender dynamics
  • Immigrants
  • Portugal
  • Religion
  • Transnational families

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