Migration status and transnational mothering: the case of Filipino migrants in France

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Abstract

Recent studies on transnational mothering have explored the various strategies migrant women use to negotiate their absence from home; however, there is limited knowledge on how migration status diversifies transnational mothering practices. To fill this gap, I conducted in-depth interviews and observations of Filipino migrant mothers working in the domestic service sector in and around Paris. The consequences of migration include the prolongation of a planned stay in France, emotional difficulties due to family separation, and distant mother–child relationships. Transnational family life appears more complicated and difficult to manage for undocumented migrant mothers since they cannot easily visit their family back home, which they try to compensate by resorting to more intense transnational communication and gift-giving practices. Hence, migration status plays an important role in shaping transnational motherhood.

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