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Responsibility, Mobility, and Power: Translocal Carework Negotiations of Nicaraguan Families


  • This research has benefitted from the Flemish Interuniversity Council VLIR-UOS and from the IOB Research Fund. I would like to thank the editor of International Migration Review, two anonymous reviewers, and my colleagues Johan Bastiaensen, Nathalie Holvoet, Griet Steel, and Annelou Ypeij for useful comments on earlier drafts. I also wish to thank all research participants for sharing their experiences.


Recently, carework has emerged as a key area for exploring the gendered connections between migrants and their families “home,” providing insight into family-level consequences of migration. However, the way carework shapes migration itself has not received due attention. Based on field research among Nicaraguan migrant families, this article explores the links between translocal carework and family migration decision-making by connecting the concepts of transnational caregiving and power-geometry of mobility to interpret fathers’ and female relatives’ carework involvement. In conclusion, the article highlights how translocal carework shapes family members’ access to mobility through ongoing negotiations of a wide range of responsibilities, indicating a possible direction for future explorations of migration.