EASA2024: Doing and Undoing with Anthropology — Panel: Mothering times: experiences of motherhood in the process of migration

EASA2024: Doing and Undoing with Anthropology — Panel: Mothering times: experiences of motherhood in the process of migration 

Convenors: Aurora Massa (University of Pavia) — Amal Miri (University of Antwerp)— Milena Belloni (University of Antwerp)

This panel aims to explore different temporalities of being/becoming mothers and performing motherhood in the process of migration. Time/temporalities proved to be fruitful perspectives for investigating the experiences of mobile people, their struggle with border regimes, narratives of nostalgia and practices of belonging. Likewise, motherhood is an embodied social experience marked by the need to balance many conflicting times (for instance, the experience of aging with the decision of (re)becoming parents, the pace of mothering with everyday challenges of migrants’ lives). How do the divergent temporalities of migration and motherhood contribute to the doing and undoing of reproductive/non-reproductive practices across borders? How do they reshape mothering expectations, practices and experiences, and gender roles within familiar, transnational and diasporic networks?

We welcome ethnographic contributions in the following areas (but not exclusively):

• The temporalities of mobility: How does the migratory journey, as an embodied experience, shape women’s plans to become mothers and their aspirations for their children’s future?

• The temporalities of transnational families: How do geographic distance shape the experiences of time within separated families? How is migration perceived by women in relation to their role as mothers?

• Facing bureaucratic timing: How is the temporality of migrant family life understood by bureaucratic migration controls? How are bureaucracy and family times diverging or converging in migrants’ narratives?

• Affective citizenship and temporalities: Can caring for children and elders be debated as active citizenship? How is it represented in public discourse and in individuals’ claims about membership in society?

EASA2024: Migrations, gender equality and empowerment in the EU

​EASA2024: Migrations, gender equality and empowerment in the EU

Discussant: Amal Miri (University of Antwerp)

The growing diversity across societies in Europe presents severe societal challenges because of the cumulative effects of multiple forms of discrimination related to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and others. Current public discourses concerning migrants often imply a return to traditional gender ideologies, thus threatening equity/equality policies and the empowerment of women and girls in general (a fundamental goal of the UN agenda for sustainable development). The literature on gender and migration has highlighted, not only the specificities of women in migration, but also how diversity within this group is relevant to integration (Kofman & Raghuram, in Scholten, 2022). However, notions of gender empowerment often rely on liberal or paternalistic approaches to ‘empower’ or ‘save’ female migrants (Cornwall, 2016; Abu-Lughod, 2013), which many policies and practices are built on. These perspectives do not reflect the heterogeneity and agency of migrant women and girls nor the barriers to equality and inclusion they encounter. In this panel we aim to address how this mismatch may reproduce dominant trends in public opinion and permeate the policies and practices of Civil Society Organizations working with migrant women and girls, leaving aside more complex debates such as those around cultural relativism, ethnocentrism or racist stereotypes. We welcome ethnographic works on gender studies, migration, and media/cultural studies. We encourage critical reflections applying intersectional approaches, European comparative works on gender and inclusion policies and the practices of CSO’s, or methodological reflections on the current challenges of doing research on gender and migration.

IMISCOE Conference LISBON 2024 — Transnational Family Dynamics panel

IMISCOE Conference LISBON 2024 Transnational Family Dynamics panel

Chair 1 : Karlijn Haagsman  — Maastricht University 

Discussant 1: Mieke Schrooten —Odisee University of Applied Sciences 


Since the early 2000s when scholars started to research transnational families, a burgeoning literature has emerged that has studied various aspects of separated families due to migration. This mainly empirical body of literature has looked at different elements, such as parents, caregivers and children’s well-being, health, relationships, socio-economic status, and documented status. Now 20 years later a Cost Action (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) on Transnational Families has started (TraFaDy) that wants to deepen the knowledge on transnational families by bringing together researchers and stakeholders from different disciplines and countries. The Action has as one of its aims to develop a systematic exchange of knowledge, innovative interdisciplinary and international perspectives on transnational families and tangible recommendations for stakeholders and policy makers. The first step is to take stock of this body of literature and identify what we have learned so far. Most publications are based small-scale empirical studies and there has been little systematic analysis and comparisons of transnational families. As we are a network of over a 170 scholars and stakeholders from various countries and disciplines, we have access to data, literature and reports in and from various languages, places, and disciplines. We have created a database that includes all this literature and use this to systematically review the literature on transnational families through various themes. In this panel, we will present some of these reviews and discuss the most important factors in transnational families and identify avenues for future research. ​

ISTR panel proposal: The critical role of the third sector in the Ukraine crisis across Europe

ISTR panel proposal: The critical role of the third sector in the Ukraine crisis across Europe

Chair: Mieke Schrooten (Odisee University of Applied Sciences and University of Antwerp)

Russia’s invasion of Ukrainian territories on 24 February 2022 has triggered rapid, large‐scale migration of Ukrainian residents, both within Ukraine and to the European Union, leading to the displacement of nearly one third of all Ukrainians. The magnitude and rapidity of this inflow into Europe is unprecedented, making Ukraine’s war‐related forced migration Europe’s largest displacement crisis in decades.

As a response to this situation, the European Commission invoked the so‐called Temporary Protection Directive for the first time, automatically entitling Ukrainians fleeing war to a temporary protection status and guaranteeing access to shelter, the labour market, medical care, education for minors and social assistance in the cities, towns and rural areas to which they fled.

Across Europe, governments faced the task of mobilising resources to meet the housing and welfare needs of Ukrainian refugees. Social workers – and the third sector in general – were challenged to adapt their functioning to provide displaced Ukrainians with the support they are entitled to. In numerous countries, welfare providers encountered various obstacles in this support provision, including legal, practical and ethical ones. At the same time, this novel situation also lead to innovative practices in housing and support provision, often including the mobilisation of informal civil society. Exemplary are the private accommodation of people fleeing Ukraine in several countries across Europe and the many small social initiatives that try to meet their needs, often using social media and crowdsourcing platforms. The vast mobilisation of volunteers underlines the capacity and great willingness of local populations to help Ukrainian refugees.

Both the joint act of solidarity from the European Union and the scale of citizen‐based solidarity are unprecedented in migration‐related issues in the EU. This panel critically explores these acts of solidarity, as well as the role of the third sector in the reception, support and integration of displaced Ukrainians across European countries. First, Kata Fredheim (Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Latvia) explores how the plans of Ukrainian refugees in Latvia evolved over time and how support from the third sector changed accordingly, evolving to a sophisticated support infrastructure. The second presentation, by Karina Melnyk and Hubert Kaszyński (Institute of Sociology of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland), examines the factors that played a role in the unprecedented hospitality in Poland for people fleeing Ukraine, presenting the findings from a mixed‐methods study. Also from Poland, Ryszard Necel investigates how Polish social workers perceived the cooperation with the local community during the Ukrainian crisis. In the final article, Tony Mickelsson Blomqvist (Södertörn University in Stockholm, Sweden) addresses the question raised by many – not in the least by many third sector actors – as to how Ukrainians are treated differently from other refugee groups at various levels.