Good Mothers, Bad Mothers: Migrant Ukrainian Women Negotiating to Belong

Penkala, Alina and Lietaert, Ine (2023). Good Mothers, Bad Mothers: Migrant Ukrainian Women Negotiating to Belong. UNU-CRIS Working Paper. UNU Insitute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies.

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  • Subtitle Working Paper
    Sub-type Working paper
    Author Penkala, Alina
    Lietaert, Ine
    Title Good Mothers, Bad Mothers: Migrant Ukrainian Women Negotiating to Belong
    Series Title UNU-CRIS Working Paper
    Volume/Issue No. 2023/6
    Publication Date 2023
    Place of Publication Bruges
    Publisher UNU Insitute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
    Pages 14
    Language eng
    Abstract This article examines the connections between socio-political and economic transformations in Ukraine and the discourses surrounding motherhood and migration, specifically focusing on the migratory pattern of female migration to Italy that emerged in the early 1990s. By bringing together fragmented scholarship on gender roles, motherhood, nation-building, and migration, the authors explore the influence of these transformations on discourses of “proper motherhood” and “proper female citizenship.” We argue that the economic and political transition in Ukraine resulted in a shift in gender roles and ideals of motherhood, and migrant women negotiate the national politics of belonging in response to these discourses. Through a critical literature review, the authors illustrate the complex chain of factors that led to the effects of discourses on the migration of mothers. The article also discusses the reshaping of gender relations in the context of economic and socio-political changes, the shift from mother as a worker to mother, and the role of nation-building in constructing notions of good mothers. This study contributes to a nuanced understanding of the interplay between gender, migration, and nation-building in post-communist Ukraine.
    Copyright Holder UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
    Copyright Year 2023
    Copyright type All rights reserved
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    Created: Wed, 21 Feb 2024, 21:32:03 JST by Masovic, Ajsela on behalf of UNU CRIS