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Qualitative Sociology

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 33–52 | Cite as

Gender and Transnational Gossip

  • Joanna Dreby
Article

Abstract

Transnational social networks powerfully shape Mexican migration and enable families to stretch internationally. In an atmosphere of such high dependence on social networks, it would be rare for families not to be affected by the opinions of others. This article analyzes this often-overlooked aspect of social networks, gossip. I analyze gossip stories prevalent for one type of migrant family, those in which parents and children live apart. Drawing on over 150 ethnographic interviews and observation with members of Mexican transnational families and their neighbors in multiple sites, I describe both parents’ and children’s experiences with transnational gossip. I show that in a transnational context, gossip is a highly gendered activity with different consequences for men and women. Although targeting both women and men, transnational gossip reinforces the expectations that mothers be family caregivers and fathers be family providers even when physical separation makes these activities difficult to accomplish.

Keywords

Family Gossip Immigration Mexico Transnational communities 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyKent State UniversityKentUSA

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