Scientific Mobility in an Enlarging European Union
Chapter 5: Multiple Life-courses? The Impact of Children on Migration Processes
1 INTRODUCTION Scott (2006: 113) emphasizes the relationship between mobility and family and/or life-course, suggesting that ‘there is then a work–life balance that matches the acquisition of mobility capital against familial priorities’. Although the role of partners has been recognized for some time in migration research, attention to the inﬂuence of children has emerged more slowly. Cooke (2001: 419) argues that research has generally ‘failed to consider carefully how reproductive, labour market and migration decisions are connected’. Whilst the attention to children in this work is welcome, its focus is primarily on the eﬀect of child-bearing on mothers’ employment. Kofman (2004: 243) suggests that the neglect of family-related migration reﬂects the ‘emphasis in migration studies on the individual, a heavily economic focus and an association with female migration based on the dichotomy of male producer and female reproducer. Family-related migration is treated as a secondary form of migration subordinate to and divorced from labour markets’. To the extent that family migration has been recognized in migration research, it has tended to be treated as distinct from and less important than employment-related migration. Implicit within this analysis is the view that women – as wives and mothers – and children are largely moving as dependants and not as major economic players in their own right. Where the inﬂuence of older children is recognized in research, children tend to be viewed as the passive appendages of migrant couples who vicariously weigh up the impact of individual moves on the...
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