In her article: “Global Care work and gendered Constraints: The Case of Puerto Rican Transmigrants” Elizabeth M. Aranda focuses on such points as the impact of migration on the fulfillment of transnational care work, the influence of gender when giving or receiving care across borders, the methods transnational actors use to fulfill transnational care work, the effect of gender on the fulfillment of transnational care work and the ways to “minimize emotional dislocation that results from family separation” (Elizabeth M. Aranda, 611). She describes her research conducted on the emotional adaptation of the migrants from Puerto Rico to the new environment they get into.
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Elizabeth M. Aranda lays special emphasis on the emotional problem the migrants face when coming to the United States: “Although Puerto Ricans do not cross international borders when they travel to the United States, geopolitical, social and cultural borders are crossed” (Elizabeth M. Aranda, 610). But one of her biggest concerns and the points of a live discussion seems to be the difficulty of surviving in a foreign country namely for women: “Care work is also a source of constraint, especially for women” (Elizabeth M. Aranda, 611). Thus she sorts out the gender problem as a separate issue called “gender constraints transnational care work strategies” (Elizabeth M. Aranda, 611).
According to Elizabeth M. Aranda’s studies, the migration to another country influences men only slightly whereas there are a lot of difficulties with that for women: “The effects on transnational migration on the accomplishment on care work were greater for women and men who were not married but particularly for women, regardless of marital status” (Elizabeth M. Aranda, 615). Such feminism may be seen throughout her work. Elizabeth M. Aranda focuses on problems the women come across though she doesn’t evidently show that she thinks that men, being much stronger physically as well as emotionally may also suffer from racial or class problems rather than from gender discrimination.
Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo in the book “Gender and U.S. Immigration: Contemporary Trends” noted: “Consequently, a new wave of migration scholarship challenges feminists who insist on the primacy of gender, thereby marginalizing racism and other structures of oppression. In place of theories that treat structures such as gender and race as mutually exclusive, this recent work urges us to develop theories and design research that capture the simultaneity of gender, class, race, and ethnic exploitation” (20).
Unlike this author the pages of Elizabeth M. Aranda’s work are overfilled with pity for women who she portrays as victims all the time: “While both men and women expressed frustration with care work constraints, women felt these effects more acutely…” (Elizabeth M. Aranda, 615). This proves once again that the author aims at the protection of women’s rights and neglects the feelings and emotions of men.
Some attention should be paid to the fact that nobody makes women from Puerto Rico move to the United States. It should be mentioned that living standard in Puerto Rico is lower than in some states of the US but still high compared with some other islands. Moreover, the unemployment in Puerto Rico is higher than in the United States which means that moving to America the Puerto Ricans increase the unemployment in their native country.
All in all, the work by Elizabeth M. Aranda is a valuable and informative piece of writing which includes thoroughly organized and conducted research but it doesn’t disclose all the problems of the transnational care work as the author focuses mainly on the issue of gender.
Elizabeth M. Aranda. “Global Care work and gendered Constraints: The Case of Puerto Rican Transmigrants.” Gender & Society 17.4 (2003): 609-626.
Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo. Gender and U.S. Immigration: Contemporary Trends. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003.