Thinking migrant capitals intersectionally: using a biographical approach

Erel, Umut (2015). Thinking migrant capitals intersectionally: using a biographical approach. In: Ryan, Louise; Erel, Umut and D'Angelo, Alessio eds. Migrant Capital Networks, Identities and Strategies. Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship. Houndmills: Palgrave, pp. 18–32.




While Bourdieu’s notion of capital is attuned to power differences and inequalities, it has paid scant attention to gender, migration status and ethnicity. Outlining the significance of an intersectional perspective, the chapter focuses on how gendered power relations can work to marginalize migrant women from ethnically-specific social capital. By challenging hegemonic forms of femininity within the migrant group, migrant women may loose their social networks within the migrant group. Yet, the chapter shows how women can build on alternative versions of femininity, and develop alternative strategies to build social capital. The chapter also shows the usefulness of biographical methods for understanding how social and cultural resources can be converted into capital a contradictory process for many migrant women.

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