Transnational Marriages, Families and Gender in Asia

Dr Bernice Loh2, Dr Theodora Lam1, Dr Chand Somaiah1, A/Prof Raelene Wilding4, Dr Shashini Gamage4

1Asia Research Institute, National University Of Singapore, , Singapore, 2Centre for Family and Population Research, National University Of Singapore, , Singapore, 3National University Of Singapore, , Singapore, 4La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

Chair: Dr Bernice Loh


Transnational family studies have focused on how migrant parents make sense of, experience and organise their transnational family lives. In viewing transnationalism as a process, the panel broadens this conversation, illuminating the prevalence, shifts and composition of transnational families in Asia. Rather than taking migration and transnational family life as unidirectional (simply relocating overseas from an origin country) and couched in (anticipated) experiences of permanence, the papers in this panel offers insight into how marriages, care, kinship and gendered duties and roles are reproduced and sustained. While the literature on transnational care as gendered is well documented, gender as a lens to understand transnational families’ lives remains crucial because it is a site where inequalities-social, structural and individual-are encountered and felt. In acknowledging the transnational family as a multi-stranded and multi-sited experience, the panel visibilises gender-related themes, showing how roles, motivations and relations for and within members in the transnational family is often complex and contested.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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