For generations, migration moved in one direction at a time: migrants to host countries, and money to families left behind. The Labor of Care argues that globalization has changed all that.
Valerie Francisco-Menchavez spent five years alongside a group of working migrant mothers. Drawing on interviews and up-close collaboration with these women, Francisco-Menchavez looks at the sacrifices, emotional and material consequences, and recasting of roles that emerge from family separation. She pays particular attention to how technologies like Facebook, Skype, and recorded video open up transformative ways of bridging distances while still supporting traditional family dynamics. As she shows, migrants also build communities of care in their host countries. These chosen families provide an essential form of mutual support. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of today’s transnational family—sundered, yet inexorably linked over the distances by timeless emotions and new forms of intimacy.