Caribbean narratives of migration, family, and genderCaribiske narrativer om migration, familie og køn
Research on female migrant caregivers has tended to focus upon the emotional and social problems they encounter working abroad, given women’s traditional role as caregivers for their own families. This article analyses how Caribbean women who have returned after a period abroad as domestic workers inscribe their migration experiences within the gendered narrative of the good relative who migrates to help the family left behind and therefore deserves social recognition in the community of origin. It argues that this narrative allows the women to both affirm and reinterpret local family and gender roles within the context of migration. This analysis points to the close connection between narrative structures, accounts of migration experiences, and self-presentations and suggests that narratives about family and gender roles not only reflect people’s lives, but are also a malleable resource that can be (re)shaped to validate a variety of life-courses.
Royal Anthropological Institute. Journal, 2012, Vol 18, Issue 4, p. 828-845