Gender and International Labor Migration: A Networks Approach
Linda Miller Matthei highlights the increasing importance of women as actors in the migration process. Contrary to long- held assumptions in migration research that males are the primary migrants, she argues that there is substantial(although fragmentary) evidence that both migrant and nonmigrant women are actively involved in and central to building and maintaining the transnational networks that link migrant sending and receiving societies. She examines the contributions of world-systems analysis in bringing to light the significant economic role that female labor migrants play in the U. S. economy. Yet theoretical models that purport to explain household strategies do not fully account for women’s role in migration. She argues for an analytical approach that is more socially and culturally grounded and focuses on migration as a gendered process of transnational network building. In her view, the notion of migration as a process of network building illuminates factors such as access to employment and settlement through social networks and the persistence of transnational ties.
social networks in immigration, gender; immigration and emigration; networks and networking; immigrant labor; migrant workers; women and economics; ethnology and ethnography
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 23, No. 3 (1996): 38-53