Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of Connecticut

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Emory University
Pregnant and Unwelcome: Undocumented Migrant Workers' Experiences of Reproduction in Israel

The proposed research will investigate the pregnancy and reproduction experiences of undocumented female migrant workers in Tel Aviv, Israel, through a phenomenologically oriented ethnographic comparison of two of the most populous, and markedly different, migrant groups presently residing in the city: Nigerian and Filipina women. The study's experience-near findings will be contextualized in a broader exploration of the sociocultural, political economic, and microsocial matrices of migrant women's lives. Current literature on transnational labor migration has yet to fully consider the role of biological reproduction - in contrast to the better studied issues of "stratified reproduction" and "transnational motherhood" - in shaping, complicating, or constraining migration processes and experiences. I propose to describe and compare how members of these two groups experience and articulate the wide range of reproduction-related choices, changes and interactions in a foreign, and often unwelcoming, host society. Not only will this project bring an understudied migration destination into the pressing global discussion about transnational labor migration, but it will also deepen the discussion by bringing biological reproduction into the conversation and examining a diverse array of pregnancy experiences in ethnographic and experiential depth.