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Hernández-Albújar, Yolanda (2012) NARRATIVES OF IDENTITY AND MOTHERHOOD AMONG LATIN AMERICAN MIGRANT WOMEN. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study analyses the experiences of 12 Latin American migrant mothers in Pittsburgh, PA. I explore the content and style of migrant women’s narratives about their motherhood roles from a phenomenological perspective. In particular, I explore the ways in which participants incorporate their motherhood experiences into accounts about themselves. I first analyze constructions of personal identity in the context of migration. Second, I explore the influences of motherhood and mothering on shaping personal self-perceptions. I conducted two interviews with each participant. The first interview aimed to explore the ways in which participants articulated their sense of identity in general, and the ways in which they positioned their roles as mothers within that broad narrative. That interview was videotaped and based upon a single open question: “Who are you?” The participant was left alone to respond in order to limit biases linked to social desirability and research expectations. The second interview was a follow-up with open-ended questions. I used narrative analysis to explore and interpret the data. Since mothers are made, not born, I learned that as women regulate their behaviors and presentation of themselves into such dominant discourses, their identities also transform. For migrant mothers, this topic is a source of strong emotional and compassionate feelings due to the existing social demands to perform motherhood within dominant discourses on "good motherhood." Remarkably, the mothers in this research perceived such demands coming from two different sources, namely the receiving society and their own home countries. Mothering in the context of migration appears not only as a political and cultural practice, but also as a conceptual element to negotiate adjustment and change. This document develops as a reflexion on the practices of identity and the ways in which migrant women use their roles of mothers to reposition themselves in time and space, and reconstruct a new sense of self.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBamyeh, Mohammedmab205@pitt.eduMAB205
Committee MemberHarper,
Committee MemberMarkoff, Johnjm2@pitt.eduJM2
Committee MemberBrush, Lisa D.lbrush@pitt.eduLBRUSH
Date: 18 June 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 April 2012
Approval Date: 18 June 2012
Submission Date: 1 May 2012
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 204
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender, immigration, Latin America, identity
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2012 19:19
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2017 05:15


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