Engendering transnational space: migrant mothers as cultural currency speculators

Erel, Umut (2012). Engendering transnational space: migrant mothers as cultural currency speculators. European Journal of Women's Studies, 19(4) pp. 460–474.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1350506812466612


This article opens new perspectives for the study of gender, transnationalism and cultural capital by exploring the role of gender in the formation of cultural capital in transnational contexts, focusing on how migrant mothers’ strategically deploy cultural resources from one national setting in another. Drawing on a study of middle-class European mothers in London, it shows how they mobilise transnational cultural resources to compensate for shortcomings of economic, national and local cultural capital, as well as accruing added value to their children’s education. Indeed, some mothers engage in transnational cultural currency speculation of cultural resources by converting the educational investment in their children into educational credentials in the national setting where they expect the highest returns. Bourdieu’an notions of cultural capital and field help explore the relationship between national and transnational cultural capital in the European middle class migrants’ emergent mobility practices.

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