Worlds apart: migration journeys and gender inequalities

Worlds apart: migration journeys and gender inequalities

Marion Lieutaud (LSE)
CRIS Scientific Seminar, Friday, December 16th 2022
  • Image Ivector (via Shutterstock)Image Ivector (via Shutterstock)

CRIS Scientific Seminar 2022-2023

Friday, December 16th 2022, 11:30 am
Sciences Po (1, place Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin) - Room K008

Worlds apart: migration journeys and gender inequalities

Marion Lieutaud
Research Fellow, London School of Economics and political science

Marion LieutaudMigrant families are often stereotyped as patriarchal, with women ‘trailing’ behind. Such narratives justify anti-immigrant policies and xenophobia, often in the name of supposedly feminist values (Farris, 2017). Disputing these narratives is hampered by the glaring deficit of quantitative enquiries into the relationship between migration and gender inequality, especially in the gender division of unpaid domestic and care labour. The limited scholarship focuses on differences between ethnic groups rather than different circumstances of migration, although there is some evidence that time-use patterns differ depending on the age at migration (Kan and Laurie 2018). Migrants’ gender ideologies also change post-migration, suggesting a gender-acculturation effect (Roeder and Mühlau 2014).

This research investigates a parallel hypothesis: it contends that the life-course circumstances of migration play an important role in setting up (entrenching or subverting) power balances in couples. This could in turn durably impacts the gender division of labour in migrants’ relationships – a theoretical approach that treats migration and mobility processes as both gendered and gendering (Pedraza 1991, Hondagneu-Sotelo 1992). Drawing on survey data from Understanding Society (UK, 2009-) and Trajectoires et Origines (France, 2008-2009, 2019-2020), this quantitative investigation employs sequence analysis to build a typology of union-migration trajectories and tests the association between these union-migration trajectories and different degrees of gender-specialisation in couples. It shows that, when it comes to gender dynamics around the distribution of unpaid housework, care work and paid work, how and when in the life-course women migrate often matters more than where they came from or who they partnered with.

Registration is mandatory. Thank you.

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