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.