Symbolic (Self-)Identifications of Care Workers in Diasporic Media: Romanian Migrant Women in Italy

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Abstract

The article looks at a corpus of personal stories told by Romanian migrant women who work as caregivers in Italy or by journalists, from the women’s perspective, in two Romanian diasporic publications. It aims to gain an insight into the ways the narrators use the diasporic media space to (re)situate themselves in relation to the home and host societies. A methodological framework that incorporates elements from narrative analysis and critical discourse analysis is applied for examining the (self-)construction of agency and social roles, the negotiation of belonging to social categories, and the positionings that emerge, including towards dominant worldviews and discourses on low-skilled migrant women. The findings indicate that the women narrators build their identities in a complex interplay of (dis-)empowering stances, using their experience of migration to attain agency and to contest, but also reaffirm, in a transnational context, traditional gender roles, occupational and class stigmas, and stereotypical perceptions of nationality.

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