Transnational fathering: Gendered conflicts, distant disciplining and emotional gaps

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Women's migration spurs the reconfiguration of the gender division of labour in transnational families, while the migration of men maintains it. Father-away migrant families usually mirror modern nuclear households. The only difference is the temporal and spatial rearrangement brought by the father's work: instead of the father routinely getting back home to his family during suppertime, he comes back home from work every ten months. My paper looks at the transnational families of migrant men as unexpected sites of gender conflicts in the maintenance of intimacy. Using interviews with adult children left behind in the Philippines and their guardians, I show that intimacy is more of a challenge for migrant men to achieve with family in the Philippines than it is for migrant women. Their families suffer from emotional distance, because: generations operate in 'time pockets' that are 'outside the real time of the outside world'; migrant men do not accordingly adjust their performance of fathering to accommodate the needs created by distance; and fathers insist on maintaining gender-normative views of parenting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1072
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


  • Fathering
  • Gender
  • Philippines
  • Transnational Families


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