Rethinking Children’s Place(s) in Transnational Families: Mobile Childhoods in Filipino International Migration

Abstract

This paper undertakes two analytical enterprises to reflect on children’s place(s) in transnational families. At the macro level, it traces the developments of how children have been socially and scientifically viewed through time, while highlighting the cross-fertilization of knowledge between migration studies and children and childhood studies. At the micro level, it underlines the importance of a mobility approach to illuminate the diverse experiences of children. Specifically, using the analytical optic of “mobile childhoods” (Fresnoza-Flot A. Migration, familial challenges and scholastic success: mobilities experiences of the 1.5-generation Filipinos in France. In Nagasaka I, Fresnoza-Flot A (eds) Mobile childhoods in Filipino transnational families. Migrant children with similar roots in different routes. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke/New York, pp 59–86, 2015), it examines the case of three groups of young people in Filipino transnational families: stay-behind children of migrant parents, migrant children reunited with their parents in their receiving country, and children of ‘mixed’ couples. By doing so, the paper unveils the fluxes and movements in different contexts that children undergo due to their parents’ migration, to their own geographical mobility, or (in the case of those in ‘mixed’ families) to the differing socio-cultural backgrounds of their parents.