Worker-Mothers on the Margins of Europe

Worker-Mothers on the Margins of Europe

Gender and Migration between Moldova and Istanbul
Leyla J. Keough
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 02/01/2016
Format: Paperback 10 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-02093-2
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Following Moldovan women who "commute" for six to twelve months at a time to work as domestics in Istanbul, Worker-Mothers on the Margins of Europe explores the world of undocumented migrants from a postsocialist state. Leyla J. Keough examines the gendered moral economies that shape the perspectives of the migrants, their employers in Turkey, their communities in Moldova, and the International Organization for Migration. She finds that their socialist past continues to color how the women view their labor and their roles within their families, even as they are affected by the same shifts in the global economy that drive migration elsewhere. Keough puts scholarship on gender and migration into dialogue with postsocialist studies and offers a critical assessment of international anti-trafficking efforts.

Author Bio

Leyla J. Keough is Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Middle East Studies at Hampshire College and a former Wilson Center research scholar.


“Anyone interested in the phenomenon of migration, particularly the gender dynamics of international migration and the politics of 'trafficking' in an era of globalization, will find this book an invaluable contribution. . . . This is ethnography at its best.”
 — Kristen Ghodsee, Bowdoin College

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Table of Contents

1. The "Returns" of Mobile Mothers
2. Uplift in Gagauz Yeri
3. Desiring a New Domestic
4. Working in Istanbul
5. Managing Migration
Conclusion: Driven Women

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