FROM 'SETTLEMENT' TO 'INTEGRATION': INFORMAL PRACTICES AND SOCIAL SERVICES FOR WOMEN MIGRANTS IN ATHENS.

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    • Abstract:
      In recent European literature on migration, two main trends characterize the ways in which migrants are increasingly portrayed. The first tends to define migrants in terms of their belonging to 'communities' while, in the second trend, migrants and refugees epitomize ideas of diaspora and hybridity, as resistance to constructions of place-bound 'communities'. In the context of these trends, women migrants hold ambivalent positions as particular 'others'. In our article, we attempt to problematize the 'purity' of these approaches. Based on research with Albanian migrant women in Athens, we examine the ways in which they construct very local, but also transnational and imagined communities while they seek to settle and find ways of integrating in the new setting. Using material from focus groups and biographical interviews with women migrants, as well as with women employers, we discuss: (a) the importance of informal practices of support and assistance at the neighbourhood level; and (b) the role of social services (health and child care), as they affect migrant women's efforts to negotiate a place for themselves and their dependents, to forge a sense of belonging and redefine communities and gender relations. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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