Handbook on Gender in Asia
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Handbook on Gender in Asia

Edited by Shirlena Huang and Kanchana N. Ruwanpura

The Handbook on Gender in Asia critically examines, through a gender perspective, five broad themes of significance to Asia: the ‘Theory and Practice’ of researching in Asia; ‘Gender, Ageing and Health’; ‘Gender and Labour’; ‘Gendered Migrations and Mobilities’; and ‘Gender at the Margins’. With each chapter providing an overview of the key intellectual developments on the issue under discussion, as well as empirical examples to examine how the Asian case sheds light on these debates, this collection will be an invaluable reference for scholars of gender and Asia.
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Chapter 19: Gender and transnational parenting: Extended moral communities of co-responsibility among (im)migrant Kodavathees

Bittiandra Chand Somaiah


This chapter engages with broad debates from a range of disciplines surrounding transnational parenting in Asia, to identify and analyze gaps in the literature. Providing a case study from my work on social reconstructions of mothering, I offer that, while moral communities are often founded upon thick social relations, my participants’ practices of maternal transnational care towards others depict an inter-weaving of both thick and thin social relations. While I continue in the tradition of work which uncovers everyday transnationalism ‘on the ground’, I emphasize the gendered, maternal dimensions of performing this within the g/local South Asian, specifically Coorg, context using instances of kinwork, emotions, and (transnational) charity beyond the community. I suggest the construction of extended moral communities of co-responsibility is at play in the maternal-inspired generational, gendered motherwork of my participants and their trans-domestic, transnational citizenship practices of raising model citizens in global cities. I finally propose a research agenda for the future of the subfield of gender and transnational parenting.

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