In Italy the increasing phenomenon of feminine migration mainly concerns East Europe (Istat, 2015). East European women, in order to support their families, emigrate searching for works opportunities which principally involve domestic or nursing duties. In a general redefinition of their own psychic and cultural identity (Grinberg & Grinberg, 1990), migrant mothers redefine also their motherhood adopting several strategies to negotiate their absence from home. In a social framework, commodification of love and technological management of family relations appear as dominant characteristics of transnational mothering (Orellana et al., 2011; Parreñas, 2001). Less investigated are emotional dimensions. The migration and transnational motherhood experiences were investigated through a semi-structured interview and analysed by the phenomenologicalinterpretative analysis (IPA) (Smith & Osborn, 2003; Smith et al., 2009). 5 women were selected on the basis of the following criteria: to be an immigrant woman who has lived in Italy at least from 10 years with regular residency permit, to have abandoned their children in their country in a phase between the second childhood and the preadolescence. Met in an Onlus, all women have Ukrainian origins, 50 median age, are divorced and employed as domestic workers. Four superordinate themes emerged: It’s up to woman, it’s up to me; Suspended between two worlds; An empty which we can’t narrate; The good mother must stay with her children. The motherhood experience is felt either as an heroic and feminine gesture which, through sacrifice, guarantees a better future, or a regret for the loss of essential steps of children life. The complex migration experience is represented as a suspension between two worlds, as well as a point of no return, in which the same Mother Earth, is perceived as a treacherous Mother.

Mothers across the borders: A phenomenological approach to the experience of East European women to the transnational motherhood

TESSITORE, FRANCESCA;
2016

Abstract

In Italy the increasing phenomenon of feminine migration mainly concerns East Europe (Istat, 2015). East European women, in order to support their families, emigrate searching for works opportunities which principally involve domestic or nursing duties. In a general redefinition of their own psychic and cultural identity (Grinberg & Grinberg, 1990), migrant mothers redefine also their motherhood adopting several strategies to negotiate their absence from home. In a social framework, commodification of love and technological management of family relations appear as dominant characteristics of transnational mothering (Orellana et al., 2011; Parreñas, 2001). Less investigated are emotional dimensions. The migration and transnational motherhood experiences were investigated through a semi-structured interview and analysed by the phenomenologicalinterpretative analysis (IPA) (Smith & Osborn, 2003; Smith et al., 2009). 5 women were selected on the basis of the following criteria: to be an immigrant woman who has lived in Italy at least from 10 years with regular residency permit, to have abandoned their children in their country in a phase between the second childhood and the preadolescence. Met in an Onlus, all women have Ukrainian origins, 50 median age, are divorced and employed as domestic workers. Four superordinate themes emerged: It’s up to woman, it’s up to me; Suspended between two worlds; An empty which we can’t narrate; The good mother must stay with her children. The motherhood experience is felt either as an heroic and feminine gesture which, through sacrifice, guarantees a better future, or a regret for the loss of essential steps of children life. The complex migration experience is represented as a suspension between two worlds, as well as a point of no return, in which the same Mother Earth, is perceived as a treacherous Mother.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4777913
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