Accepted Paper:

Transnational Care through Cross-border Marriages: A Case of Japanese Women Married to Pakistani Labor Migrants  

Author:

Masako Kudo (Kyoto Women's University)

Paper short abstract:

By examining variations of the transnational family formed by Japanese-Pakistani couples, this paper sheds light on the complexities involved in social reproduction through cross-border marriages which resulted from the flow of international labor migration to Japan from the 1980s.

Paper long abstract:

Human resources are flowing across national boundaries at an increasing pace. International migrants provide not only "cheap and flexible" labor for the industries, but also various kind of care essential for raising the next generation of the labor force within the developed nations. However, the issues of social reproduction for labor migrants are largely ignored, except for growing attention paid to transnational motherhood observed among "foreign domestic workers" and the global care chain. How then is the next generation reproduced when men migrate to work? It has been generally presumed that care for the next generation is left to the wives who either remain in the sending countries or join their husbands abroad. However, a different pattern has emerged in Japan due to the increasing number since the late 1980s of "foreign workers" who married local women. This paper discusses the particular case of Pakistani migrants in Japan who married Japanese women. The focus will be on the emergence of transnational families whereby the Pakistani migrant husbands remain in Japan and their Japanese wives move abroad for the education of their children. What are the motivations involved in this type of transnational families, and what kind of socio-cultural resources are mobilized to enable such relocation? By asking these questions, this paper sheds light on the complexities involved in social reproduction through cross-border marriages which resulted from the flow of international labor migration.

Panel MMM16
Human resource and mobility: a comparative study between north America and east Asia (IUAES Commission on Enterprise Anthropology)