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Migrant mothers caring for the future

Creative interventions in making new citizens

Welcome to Migrant Mothers

Migrant mothers caring for the future: creative interventions in making new citizens.

This network brings together academics, practitioners and users to improve our understanding of how migrant mothers bring up their children. When migrant mothers raise children in a new society, they bring with them bedtime stories, nursery rhymes and games from their country of origin, but combine these with those in the new country. Migrant mothers are often seen as guardians of an ethnic tradition, but they are also important in enabling their family members to make a home for themselves in a new country. In this way, mothers bring up future citizens who can relate to the country of residence, the country of their parents and their own neighbourhood.

Crucially, through their work of caring for their children and negotiating cultural difference, as well as the social changes involved in migrating, migrant mothers make themselves as citizens. Public debates and policy often present migrant mothers as near the margins or boundaries of the nation they live in; they are seen as recipients of social services, in need of integration. This project turns this logic around and asks:

  • If we take migrant mothers' work of raising children as an important social contribution seriously, what can we learn for understanding and theorizing citizenship?
  • If we look at migrant mothers' contributions as making new forms of citizenship, can we improve our understanding of how to create multicultural, plural societies?
  • What can we learn about these societies if we use the lens of migrant mothers' experiences?

This network brings together contributions of academics, artists, family and migration practitioners. On this website we present some of the key work on these issues through videos of academic presentations, practitioners' roundtable discussions and migrant mothers' theatrical enactments. We hope this will be of use to teachers, students, policy makers and practitioners working with migrant families, and all who are interested in these issues.

Last updated: 29 June 2022

Photos from the participatory theatre workshops

Final Conference

18-19 September 2014
Migrant mothers caring for the future: creative interventions in making new citizens, London South Bank University.

Event Registration

This event is now closed.