Rethinking Care Through Social Reproduction: Articulating Circuits of Migration

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Rethinking Care Through Social Reproduction: Articulating Circuits of Migration


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Care has come to dominate much feminist research on globalized migrations and the transfer of labor from the South to the North, while the older concept of reproduction had been pushed into the background but is now becoming the subject of debates on the commodification of care in the household and changes in welfare state policies. This article argues that we could achieve a better understanding of the different modalities and trajectories of care in the reproduction of individuals, families, and communities, both of migrant and nonmigrant populations by articulating the diverse circuits of migration, in particular that of labor and the family. In doing this, I go back to the earlier North American writing on racialized minorities and migrants and stratified social reproduction. I also explore insights from current Asian studies of gendered circuits of migration connecting labor and marriage migrations as well as the notion of global householding that highlights the gender politics of social reproduction operating within and beyond households in institutional and welfare architectures. In contrast to Asia, there has relatively been little exploration in European studies of the articulation of labor and family migrations through the lens of social reproduction. However, connecting the different types of migration enables us to achieve a more complex understanding of care trajectories and their contribution to social reproduction.


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  • Kofman, Eleonore. "Rethinking care through social reproduction: articulating circuits of migration". Social Politics, 2012, 19 (1), p.142-162.