Standby lives: waiting, dreaming, and refusing reunification
Gladis Aguirre Vidal (Stockholm University)
Paper short abstract:
Migration defines the lives of youngsters who do not migrate in multiple and radical ways, mainly, providing hopes for reunification, but especially, encouraging their own action and decision making of staying and going against parent's imaginations of their futures.
Paper long abstract:
A dramatic financial and political crisis in the late 1990s caused hundred of thousands of Ecuadorians to migrate to Spain. A great number of women left behind families and homes. They reunited some children and left other 'waiting for reunification' that took long time or never realised. Some youngsters waited for reunification, other not, but desires and ambiguous feelings to leave were common. Promises of reunion defined youngsters' lives. Waiting became their way of living and feeling, but also their way of action. "Stuckness," as an experience of 'standby life' however, has not stopped their agency, nor for children neither for parents. While youngsters have got some relief in their 18 years old birthday since they do not longer apply for reunification as dependent minors, parents however continue to animate these hopes to move by multiple enormously creative methods. The relief cannot last as long as young people desire. Transnational live is full of ambiguities, promises that never end or never realise, but "stuckness" is always a dynamic experience.
Stuck in a mobile world: the agentive potential of immobility