Reproducing, transforming and contesting gender relations and identities through migration and transnational ties

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Erdal, Marta Bivand & Marek Pawlak (2017) Reproducing, transforming and contesting gender relations and identities through migration and transnational ties, Gender, Place and Culture. DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2017.1372378.

​This article contributes to conceptual debates on gender transformations in the context of migration and transnationalism. We do so by discussing developments in gender relations and identities among Polish post-accession migrants in Norway; analysing the intersections of continuities and changes, relationally, as these are produced spatially and temporally. We draw on ethnographic data collected among Polish migrants in the Norwegian cities Oslo and Bergen (2009–2012). 

​Our focus on continuity and change in gender relations and identities, in the context of migration and transnationalism, stems from a realization that migration often leads to assumptions of either radical change, or conservative continuity. Meanwhile through an analytical lens sensitive to relationality and socio-spatial circumstances, we find friction, disagreement, as well as negotiation and resolution, and we argue for the variety of ways in which continuity and change may run parallel, reflective of variations in transnational habitus produced in relation to social class. We pay attention to locations and scales, as salient for how gender relations and identities are reproduced, transformed or contested. The flexible continuum we find reveals diverse strategies of coping with migratory situations, as well as complex interplay between migrants’ agency, existing structures and engendered understandings.

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Authors

Marta Bivand Erdal

Marta Bivand Erdal

Senior Researcher