Families Apart : Migrant Mothers and the Conflicts of Labor and Love

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-01-24
  • Publisher: Univ of Minnesota Pr
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In a developing nation like the Philippines, many mothers provide for their families by traveling to a foreign country to care for someone else's. Families Apartfocuses on Filipino overseas workers in Canada to reveal what such arrangements mean for families on both sides of the global divide. The outcome of Geraldine Pratt's collaboration with the Philippine Women Centre of British Columbia, this study documents the difficulties of family separation and the problems that children have when they reunite with their mothers in Vancouver. Aimed at those who have lived this experience, those who directly benefit from it, and those who simply stand by and watch, Families Apartshows how Filipino migrant domestic workers-often mothers themselves-are caught between competing neoliberal policies of sending and receiving countries and how, rather than paying rich returns, their ambitions as migrants often result in social and economic exclusion for themselves and for their children. This argument takes shape as an open-ended series of encounters, moving between a singular academic voice and the "we" of various research collaborations, between Vancouver and the Philippines, and between genres of "evidence-based" social scientific research, personal testimony, theatrical performance, and nonfictional narrative writing. Through these experiments with different modes of storytelling, Pratt seeks to transform frameworks of perception, to create and collect sympathetic witnesses-in short, to promote a wide-ranging public discussion and debate about a massive worldwide shift in family (and nonfamily) relations of intimacy and care.

Author Biography

Geraldine Pratt is professor of geography at the University of British Columbia.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introduction: Collaborating with the Philippine Women Centre: Cultivating a Debatep. xv
Enterprising Women, Failing Children: Living within the Contradictions of Neo (Liberalism)p. 1
Waiting and the Trauma of Separationp. 41
Listening to Mothers 'Storiesp. 73
Creating New Spaces of Politics: Nanay: A Testimonial Playp. 99
Acting on Attachments: Intimate Witness to State Violence in the Philippinesp. 133
Conclusion: Research into Actionp. 163
Appendixesp. 173
Notesp. 181
Bibliographyp. 221
Indexp. 239
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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