‘And They Shall Be One Flesh…’: Gender Convergence of Family Roles in Transnational Families of Ukrainian Migrant Women

  • Alissa Tolstokorova
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life book series (PSFL)


The aim of this chapter is to study the convergence of family functions of women and men in transnational families of Ukrainian migrant women. The key argument of the chapter is that the work abroad, combined with сare responsibilities conducted at great geographical distances, affects gender roles of both migrant women and their husbands left behind, entailing their convergence in transnational families. Yet, these changes affect more transnational mothers who assume the roles of breadwinners and family providers, thus expanding their family obligations and exposing them to multiple exploitations. Meanwhile, changes in the gender roles of Ukrainian fathers are only temporary, and do not entail tangible transformations in the institution of fatherhood in Ukraine.


  1. Ahmad, A. 2008. Gender and Generation in Pakistani Migration: A Critical Study of Maculintiy. In Gendering Migration: Femininity, Masculinity and Ethnicity in Post-war Britain, ed. L. Ryan and W. Webster, 155–170. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.Google Scholar
  2. Banfi, L., and P. Boccagni. 2011. Transnational Family Life and Female Migration in Italy: One or Multiple Patterns? In Gender, Generations and the Family in International Migration, ed. A. Kraler, E. Kofman, M. Kohli, and C. Schmoll, 287–312. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bastia, T., and E. Busse. 2011. Transnational Migration and Changing Gender Relations in Peruvian and Bolivian Cities. Diversities 13 (1): 19–33.Google Scholar
  4. Brednikova, O., and O. Tkach. 2010. What Home Means to the Nomad. Laboratorium 10 (1): 72–95.Google Scholar
  5. Carlin, J., C. Menjívar, and L. Schmalzbauer. 2012. Central Themes in the Study of Transnational Parenthood. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38 (2): 191–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ducu, V. 2011. Strategies of Transnational Motherhood: The Case of Romanian Women. PhD Thesis Summary. Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca.Google Scholar
  7. Fargues, P. 2006. The Demographic Benefit of International Migration: Hypothesis and Application to Middle Eastern and North African Contexts. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4050.Google Scholar
  8. Fink, H. 2016. How the Fatherhood Revolution Is Changing Modern Families. Global Moms Challenge. 19 June 2016.
  9. Gamburd, M. 2000. The Kitchen Spoon’s Handle: Transnationalism and Sri Lanka’s Migrant Housemaids. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  10. George, S. 2005. When Women Come First: Gender and Class in Transnational Migration. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  11. Golofast, V. 2006. Semja v krupnom gorode [Family in a Big City]. In Sotsiologia semji: statji raznyh let [Sociology of the Family. Papers for a Few Years], ed. V. Golofast, 198–216. St. Petersburg: Aleteya.Google Scholar
  12. Hays, S. 1996. The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hondagneu-Sotelo, P. 2007. Domestica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hoshchild, A. 2003. Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes from Home and Work. Berkley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  15. Inhorn, M., W. Chavkin, and J.-A. Navarro. 2014. Introduction. Globalized Fatherhood. Emergent Forms and Possibilities in the New Millennium. In Globalized Fatherhood, ed. M.C. Inhorn, W. Chavkin, and J.-A. Navarro, 1–30. New York/Oxford: Berghan.Google Scholar
  16. Kan, M., O. Sullivan, and J. Gershuny. 2011. Gender Convergence in Domestic Work: Discerning the Effects of Interactional and Institutional Barriers from Large-Scale Data. Sociology 45 (2): 234–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. LaRossa, R. 1997. The Modernization of Fatherhood: A Social and Political History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  18. Lazaridis, G. 2007. Les Infirmières Exclusives and Migrant Quasi-Nurses in Greece. European Journal of Women’s Studies 14 (3): 227–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mahler, S., and P. Pessar. 2006. Gender Matters: Ethnographers Bring Gender from the Periphery Toward the Core of Migration Studies. International Migration Review 40: 27–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Markov, I., ed. 2009. Na rozdorizhzhi. Analitychni materialy kompleksnogo doslidzhennya procesiv ukrainskoi trudovoi migracii (krainy Evropejskogo sojuzu ta Rosijs’ka federacia) [At the Crossroads: Analytical Materials of Complex Research (EU Countries and the Russian Federation)]. Lviv: Caritas-Ukraine.Google Scholar
  21. Mies, M. 1986. Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale. Women in the International Division of Labor. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  22. Parreňas, R.S. 2005a. Long Distance Intimacy: Class, Gender and Intergenerational Relations Between Mothers and Children in Filipino Transnational Families. Global Networks 5 (4): 317–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Parreňas, R. 2005b. Children of Global Migration: Transnational Families and Gendered Woes. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Peleah, M. 2007. The Impact of Migration on Gender Roles in Moldova. Gender in Transition 8.
  25. Pribilsky, J. 2007. La Chulla Vida: Gender, Migration and the Family in Andean Ecuador and New York City. Syracuse: Syracuse University.Google Scholar
  26. Saxonberg, S. 2014. Gendering Family Policies in Post-communist Europe. A Historical-Institutional Analysis. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schaevitz, M. 1984. The Superwoman Syndrome. New York: Warner Books.Google Scholar
  28. Schmalzbauer, L. 2015. Temporary and Transnational: Gender and Emotion in the Lives of Mexican Guest Worker Fathers. Ethnic and Racial Studies 38 (2): 211–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Thornhill, R., and C.T. Palmer. 2000. A Natural History of Rape: A Biological Basis of Sexual Coercion. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  30. Tolstokorova, A. 2010. Where Have All the Mothers Gone? The Gendered Effect of Labour Migration and Transnationalism on the Institution of Parenthood in Ukraine. The Anthropology of East Europe Review 28 (1): 184–214.
  31. ———. 2013a. Social Dividends of Migrants: The Case of Ukrainian Transnational Migration. Journal of Social Policy 6 (10): 147–196.Google Scholar
  32. ———. 2013b. Love over the Phone: Role of Mobile Communication Technologies in Transnational Motherhood of Ukrainian Migrant Women. Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology XVI (4/69): 142–158.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 2014. Singing Solo or Dancing Duet?: Gender Equality Tuning in Transnational Family Blues. The Case of Ukrainian Labor Migration. In Transnationale Räume und Geschlecht, ed. B. Riegraf and J. Gruhlich, 64–80. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot.Google Scholar
  34. ———. 2016. Partitioned Paternity: Models of Cross-Border Fathering in Ukrainian Transnational Families. In Managing Difference in Eastern-European Transnational Families, ed. V. Ducuand and A. Telegdi Csetri, 27–42. Oxford/New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  35. Wall, G., and S. Arnold. 2007. How Involved Is Involved Fathering?: An Exploration of the Contemporary Culture of Fatherhood. Gender in Society 21: 508–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Williams, S. 2008. What is Fatherhood?: Searching for the Reflexive Father. Sociology 42 (3): 487–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alissa Tolstokorova
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent scholarKyivUkraine

Personalised recommendations