Accepted Paper:

Gender and identity formation in a mobile world  

Author:

Unnur Dís Skaptadóttir (University of Iceland)

Paper short abstract:

The paper examines identity formations in a mobile world with a particular focus on the experiences of women from Asia and Eastern Europe who have moved to Iceland to work. Individual accounts are depicted that illustrate the importance of theorising gendered migration, power and citizenship.

Paper long abstract:

The paper will examine identity formations in a mobile world with a particular focus on the experiences of women who have moved to Iceland to work. I will depict individual accounts based on research among women from different East European and Asian countries that illustrate the importance of theorizing gendered migration, mobility, power and citizenship. With their participation in the global economy, characterized by inequality, these women tackle social and geographical boundaries in order to make a better life for themselves and their families' back home. The economic situation and the gender system in the country of origin influence their decision to leave and upon arrival in a new country they enter a gender divided labor market that affects their prospects. Many of them end up in the least valued jobs but are able to improve their economic standing and their social position in home country. They are connected in diverse ways locally and translocally to households, jobs and nation-states that affect their identities.

These issues, increasingly the subject of anthropological studies, raise important theoretical and methodological questions about the relation between mobility and place in the making of culture and society. The paper will be a contribution to a discussion within anthropology regarding mobility and transnational encounters that need to be explored further.

Panel W066
Different manifestations of identities and space in a global context