Migrant mothers: Kin work and cultural work in making future citizens

Reynolds, Tracey and Erel, Umut (2018). Migrant mothers: Kin work and cultural work in making future citizens. Families, Relationships and Societies, 7(3) pp. 357–363.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1332/204674318x15384702898352


This themed issue explores the caring, cultural and emotional labour of migrant mothers in raising their children, highlighting the ways in which their mothering and family practices contribute to creating future citizens in contemporary societies, increasingly characterised by ethnic, racial, religious, cultural and social diversity. A key objective of the themed issue is to probe into the practices, processes and structures shaping migrant mothers’ ‘kin work’, while recognising the family as a site of internal and societal contestation. Kin work highlights the importance of women’s culture and care work that takes places across public and private boundaries (di Leonardo, 1984), and also the way in which the link between ‘race’, racialisation and motherhood encourages particular kinds of mothering practices. The themed issue is multidisciplinary, combining cutting-edge work by leading and early-career researchers. The collection of articles originally emerged out of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Network, ‘Migrant mothers caring for the future’ (2013–15) (www.open.ac.uk/ccig/research/projects/migrant-mothers-caring-for-the-future). In addition to the substantive articles in this issue, the Open Space section offers shorter reflective pieces whereby contributors address key policy issues affecting migrant mothers.

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