[URBANTH-L] AAA CFP: The Global Child: Bridging Developmental and Migration Literatures

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Tue Mar 14 18:20:51 EST 2006

From: Heather Rae-Espinoza <heather_rae1 at hotmail.com>

I am writing to seek involvement for a panel at the upcoming AAA in 
November.  I have pasted the panel abstract below.  We are seeking 
individuals who have research that addresses both migration and human 
development.  The main focus of the panel addresses the changing ideologies 
of the family.
I am also seeking a second discussant.  I have a few options, but have 
decided that the panel would best be served in the process of originating 
new ideas and approaches if we found a migration scholar who does not work 
with development.  The reason for purposely seeking someone who does not 
conduct the same work as others on the panel is because then the individual 
would be able to offer ideas/constructive criticism as to how our papers fit 
into an overall literature of migration versus just the segment of migration 
literature that addresses families.

While there has been some outstanding work which blends developmental and 
migration literature, we hope that this panel will serve to address the 
psychological after-effects of migration on societal value systems. 
Developmental literature has tended to focus on static societies and 
migration literature has tended to address the descriptive context of the 
individual or macrosocial forces, rather than internal psychological 
processes.  By focusing on the changing ideology of the family with a 
discussant from the developmental literature and migration literature, we 
hope to establish a union with the research that approaches migration and 
development in this manner.  This will serve to ameliorate our feeling that 
we are straddling two disciplines.

Once the panel is completed (we would like one more paper and a discussant 
at the least), we will be seeking invitation from both SUNTA and the Society 
for Psychological Anthropology.

I appreciate either your involvement or suggestions of individuals who may 
have volunteered papers that could be incorporated.  Thank you.

The Global Child: Bridging Developmental and Migration Literatures
Organizer: Heather Rae-Espinoza (University of California, San Diego)
Session Abstract

This session bridges the recent research on migration and the longstanding 
research on human development through addressing the conceptions of the 
family in contexts of migration to benefit both disciplines.  Migration 
research often describes causality without focusing on the after-effects on 
society, whereas developmental research often analyzes the effects of 
childcare behaviors without focusing on the diverse, dynamic sets of 
influences children experience.  We hope to incorporate the research on 
human movements and on human development to address the after-effects of 
migration on the ideology of the family.

A trend in the increasing attention to transnational communities is to focus 
primarily on the push and pull factors that lead to migration and the 
description of the situational characteristics.  This type of migration 
research helps us to understand the factors that affect modern societies 
undergoing tumultuous change in demography, economy, and socio-political 
structure with globalization.  However, research often overlooks how the 
changing relationships and values have psychological ramifications on those 
who are involved in the migration journey.  The relation of the émigrés' 
strategies for their journeys to others' cultural values in the 
collective-at an intimate and public level-merits analysis.  Different 
actors within the migration scenes may blindly accept, partially share, or 
intensely contest all or part of the migrants' cultural values.  Such 
censure or confirmation from home affects the migrant in the diaspora as 
well.  The changing cultural values along with the changing demography has 
led to differences in childcare, which can lead to differences in children's 
personality, cognitive, and gender development.

The papers on this panel bring together these two disciplines which are 
normally treated separately.  Each paper looks at the causal factors of 
migration and addresses how migration alters the conceptions of children's 
needs, capabilities, and natural inclinations.  Rivas's work addresses the 
manner in which the public media, which is influenced by and influences the 
intimate sphere, has participated in reconstituting the family 
post-emigration.  Her positive images of émigrés in the media contrast 
drastically with Rae-Espinoza's paper.  Children learn to psychologically 
and socially adapt to the contrasting values of their émigré parents through 
culturally constituted and idiosyncratic defense mechanisms.  Horton's paper 
completes the picture of the alteration of family roles from the opposite 
perspective.  While Rae-Espinoza's paper focuses on children's methods for 
coping with parental emigration, Horton focuses on U.S. migrant mother's 
methods for coping with leaving their children behind.  The women express 
distress in an idiom of cultural-bound syndromes.

Two discussants will comment on the papers' combination of developmental and 
migration literature.  Lancy's work, including his ethnography Playing on 
the Mother-Ground in the Culture and Human Development Series, qualifies him 
to critique the papers' attempts to utilize perspectives from developmental 
literature.  xxx will provide critique from the migration literature 
perspective based on xxx.

In addition to work from the migration and developmental literature with a 
psychological perspective, this panel also offers research based on textual 
and ethnographic analysis, attention to broad cultural phenomenon and 
individual psychological processes, and US and foreign-based research with 
established anthropologists and developing graduate students.  This variety 
will provide the opportunity for innovative challenges and insights to 
further this important research on the changing, complex worlds of the 
"Global Child."

Heather Rae-Espinoza
Ph.D. Candidate
U.C.S.D. Anthropology Department

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