Negotiating Chinese Fatherhood from Afar
This chapter explores how perceptions of masculinity play into the ways in which Chinese migrant fathers in Africa perceive and perform parental care from afar. Migration not only redefines institutional structures of the family, it also changes or challenges existing notions of parenthood. Separated from their family members, migrant fathers are compelled to negotiate notions of fatherhood and effectively “re-do” gender from afar. Ideas of fatherhood are very salient in contexts of transnational migration, in which ideas about what makes a “just” father often reflect differences in perspective among migrants as well as between migrants and non-migrant kin. By negotiating Chinese fatherhood, men attempt to bridge gaps between the reality of family separation and the expectations of parental duty and care.
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