Negotiating the Transnationality of Social Control: Stories of Immigrant Women in South Florida

Robin Cooper, J. P. Linstroth, Julia Chaitin

Abstract


Historically, young women have been the object of social control, often in the name of filial honor. This article addresses a particular phenomenon of such social control as it is experienced by first- and second-generation female immigrants from Cuba and Haiti who are living in South Florida in the United States. This theme is explored by analyzing the life stories of six immigrants from these countries. The biographical stories of immigrant women reveal how social control operates in the context of transnationalism through controlling processes, internalization of gender expectations, and dominating discourse. It is also argued how social control manipulates and restricts female spaces and operates across spaces in a transnational manner from homelands to host nations. The main conclusion of the study is that a family's relocation to the United States for the purpose of political, social, or economic freedom does not necessarily result in liberation from restrictive social control for young women from such immigrant families. The "transnationality of social control" is therefore understood as the hegemonic domination of female bodies and behaviors through the mimesis of reified and remembered spaces of homelands in host societies.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0903142

Keywords


social control; transnational; dominating discourse; controlling processes; women immigrants; honor and shame

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