Young Spaniards in London: Gender Relations and Transnational Strategies of Mobility

Thursday, July 13, 2017
JWS - Stevenson Lecture Theatre (University of Glasgow)
Almudena Cortes , Universidad Complutense de Madrid
This proposal is part of the incipient literature focused on researching the impact of the economic crisis on the intensification of intra- and extra-European migration from the countries most affected by the crisis (Alba et al. 2013; Glynn 2014; King et al. 2016). Migration of young people and adults has increased with the financial crisis, which has contributed to "reperipherialize" sending countries, such as Greece, Spain, Italy, Romania and Ireland. Most studies have focused on trying to estimate the size and socio-demographic characteristics of these new flows. But the crisis has also had three important consequences from a gender perspective. First, cuts in the welfare state and labour market precarisation, which have resulted in the breakdown of social and sexual contracts. This has meant the feminization of social exclusion resulting in "new kinds of servitude" or new forms of patriarchal violence (Cobo 2011). Second, the crisis has created greater job insecurity for women. And third, a social cost differentiated in migration, due to the tensions between gender imaginaries that construct female identities and gender imperatives that crash with the personal and career aspirations of women. For these reasons, we will analyse how gender representations influence some cultural values of young Spaniard migrants in the UK and how the balance between traditional and modern regulations is used to achieve their reproductive and productive targets. Motherhood, family, household, children, elderly care and professional projects are key elements that hold the migratory projects of young Spaniards in London.