GENDERED FAMILY ROLES AND EXPECTATIONS IN TRANSNATIONAL SOMALI REFUGEE FAMILIES: AN EXPLORATORY MULTIPLE-SITE STUDY

Klas Borell, Ellinor Rask, Mubarak Warsame

Abstract


Studies of transnational families, in which members of the family live in different countries, have mostly focused on families who live apart as a result of economic globalization. However, transnational family life is not only a consequence of the global division of labor but also a consequence of increasing refugee flows. This explorative study is based on interviews with couples in three transnational Somali families, in which different family members either live in their destination country, Sweden, or the transit country, Kenya. The study shows that the geographical distance between the Somali couples has led to a new division of power and duties. The men have less control over the family’s economic and social resources, which has allowed the women to exert greater informal power. These changes cannot, however, be seen as permanent changes. The women interviewed worry about how their new life and lifestyle will work out when the family is finally reunited.


Keywords


transnational families, refugees, Somalia, Sweden, gender roles

Full Text:

PDF




International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies

Published by
© University of Victoria
Victoria, BC Canada

 

This journal is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported license.