A new lexicon for studying families living across and between the borders of states and nations emerged in the past two decades, with “transnational families” as a dominant concept. This study challenges three of the key assumptions in the literature on transnational families by focusing on a case study of Lebanese families who have migrated to North America in the past decade. Ethnographic data on who wants to migrate, their identification with the nation, the nature of the family, and its geographical stakes suggest a need to rethink the transnational families literature on nationalism, bilocality and bifocality, and nuclearity. Presenting the case of five closely related and connected families from the same Christian village in the Metn region of Lebanon, the paper argues that their experiences offer new insights into the relationship between nation and family, and nation and women; situate women’s agency within these families; and reconfigure the meaning of deterritorialization.
Geographies of Lebanese Families: Women as Transnationals, Men as Nationals, and Other Problems with Transnationalism
Suad Joseph; Geographies of Lebanese Families: Women as Transnationals, Men as Nationals, and Other Problems with Transnationalism. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 1 November 2009; 5 (3): 120–144. doi: https://doi.org/10.2979/MEW.2009.5.3.120
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