New publications by members of IMER jr. scholar network

Check out the latest publications by some of the members of the network:

The emotional journey of motherhood in migration. The case of Southern European mothers in Norway

Raquel Herrero-Arias, Ragnhild Hollekim, Haldis Haukanes, Åse Vagli in Migration Studies

Based on focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with Greek, Italian, and Spanish mothers living in Norway, this article contributes to an emerging body of literature on the role of emotions in migration by exploring migrant motherhood as an emotional journey. Drawing on the work of Arlie Hochschild on emotions and her theoretical concepts of framing rules, feeling rules, and emotion work, the article explores how migrant mothers reflect on their emotions when raising their children in the context of migration. Migrant mothers’ accounts illustrate the ambivalent and contradictory emotional experiences they have when they manage rules about how they should make sense of, and feel about their mothering in both host and origin countries. Emotions of guilt, blame, remorse, pride, satisfaction, confidence, and happiness shaped mothers’ experiences of motherhood and social interactions across countries. Through emotion work, migrant mothers managed interdependent emotions and related to different feeling rules establishing and maintaining relationships across places, and negotiating, in this way, their belonging to multiple contexts. Using an emotions-based sociological perspective, we look at motherhood as a field for studying the functions of emotions and their interactions in the context of migration.


The “good citizen”: asserting and contesting norms of participation and belonging in Oslo

Cindy Horst,Marta Bivand Erdal &Noor Jdid  in Ethnic and Racial Studies

The question of what constitutes the “good citizen” has received renewed interest in Western Europe in connection with increasing pressure on the welfare state, concerns over migration-related diversity, and growing anxiety about a crisis of democracy. We draw on data from fifty in-depth interviews and six focus group discussions with residents of Oslo to study the impact of this discursive landscape of citizenship policy on everyday perceptions of good citizenship. In our study, an ideal-type “good citizen” emerges, against which research participants judge their own and others’ contributions. Based on our empirical data, we argue for a reconceptualization of good citizenship that acknowledges present-day spaces of participation as both public and private, and which acknowledges scales of belonging that go beyond and below a narrowly defined national community. Such reconceptualization is necessary to include and recognize the diversity of participation and belonging unfolding in Europe today.


Compass, Continuity and Change. Everyday Religion among Women Living in Asylum Centers in Norway

Zubia Willmann Robleda. in Religions,

When seeking asylum in Norway, asylum seekers are usually placed in asylum centers, where their everyday life is filled with uncertainty and few meaningful activities. Despite the importance of religion for many residents, little attention is paid both by authorities as well as by scholars to the role of religious beliefs and practices in their everyday life within this context. This article is based on ethnographic research with women living in asylum centers over the course of one year. Through the lens of ‘everyday lived religion’, it explores the role and significance of their religious beliefs and practices in their everyday life in the center, as well as the changes that they experience to these. It argues that religion acts as a compass and provides a sense of continuity in the everyday life in the asylum center. The women also experience certain changes to their religious beliefs and practices due to being in a new socio-cultural environment.

The Position of the Child in the Life Experiences of Immigrant Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: A Study of Service Providers’ Perspectives in Spain

Raquel Herrero-Arias, Gaby Ortiz-Barreda, Ragnhild Hollekim, Erica Briones-Vozmediano, Carmen Vives-Cases in Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global public health concern that has serious effects on the well-being of women and their children. Being a mother and an immigrant are critical factors that prevent women from seeking to end an abusive relationship. Evidence suggests that immigrant women see their children’s well-being and future as paramount while managing an abusive relationship. However, less is known about how women negotiate their children’s needs and interests when deciding whether to stay with or leave an abusive partner. Drawing on interviews with IPV service providers in Spain, this study aims to explore providers’ understandings of the position of the child in mothers’ reflections regarding whether to end an abusive relationship and of the implications of such positioning for mothers’ decision-making. The findings indicate that children hold two main positions in this process. In one, children are positioned as a trigger for mothers to stay with abusers. This occurs when women are economically dependent on their partner, when they think that their children need a father figure, or when the abuser plays a role in women’s migratory status within Spain. Second, children are positioned as a trigger for mothers to leave abusers when mothers see children as victims of violence or children in need of a mother figure. Framed by positioning theory, we discuss how we can understand the consequences of such positioning for immigrant women who are survivors of IPV and for service provision in this context. The implications of the findings for research, policy making, and professional decision-making are discussed.


Re-Inventing Everyday Life in the Asylum Centre: Everyday Tactics Among Women Seeking Asylum in Norway

Zubia Willmann Robleda in Nordic Journal of Migration Research

Seeking asylum is characterised by long waits and great uncertainty, often categorised as an exercise of power. Recently, most European countries have made their asylum systems stricter and, in this way, less attractive to potential asylum seekers. With this context as a starting point, this article explores the everyday life of women seeking asylum and living in asylum centres in Norway. It examines the agentic tactics they employ to deal with the challenges and the elements that empower and constrain the development of these tactics. It draws on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with asylum-seeking women and uses the narratives of two women for a more in-depth study of their experiences and practices. By drawing on de Certeau, it suggests that although asylum seekers find themselves in situations of serious repression, there are still sparks of agency in the form of everyday tactics with which they seek survival and possibly also resistance.

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