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‘When my children were born, I started to love Belgium’ : Moroccan migrant mothers’ narratives of affective citizenship in the Belgian citizenisation context

Amal Miri (UGent) , Irma Emmery (UGent) and Chia Longman (UGent)
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Abstract
Integration policies and citizenisation programmes tend to have narrow conceptions of 'good' citizenship and are often articulated alongside specific assumptions regarding different migrant groups. This study draws on the qualitative research of a unique citizenisation pilot programme in Flanders, Belgium. The programme offered the combination of language courses, citizenisation and education support, and specifically targeted low literate migrant mothers from a non-EU background. Our analysis reveals the discrepancies between dominant discourses about integration and citizenisation and the participants' own views and experiences. We found that the government-subsidised local programme primarily focused on the mothers' citizenship in terms of linguistic and cultural integration, while the women themselves mostly endorsed an affective citizenship as mothers, wives and community members, by centralising mothering and care work. Furthermore, the programme oscillated between paternalism and support, visible in discourses of 'need' and 'empowerment'. And finally, the mothers' agency to navigate between the programme's objectives and their own were dependent on their intersectional positionings; the more literate and the longer their residence in the host society, the more critical they were regarding the programme's agenda. Based on these findings, some empirically obtained directives for future citizenisation programmes are suggested.
Keywords
Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous), Demography, Migrant mothers, care work, affective citizenship, citizenisation, Belgium, WOMEN

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MLA
Miri, Amal, et al. “‘When My Children Were Born, I Started to Love Belgium’ : Moroccan Migrant Mothers’ Narratives of Affective Citizenship in the Belgian Citizenisation Context.” JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES, 2021, pp. 1–18, doi:10.1080/1369183x.2020.1855132.
APA
Miri, A., Emmery, I., & Longman, C. (2021). “When my children were born, I started to love Belgium’ : Moroccan migrant mothers” narratives of affective citizenship in the Belgian citizenisation context. JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183x.2020.1855132
Chicago author-date
Miri, Amal, Irma Emmery, and Chia Longman. 2021. “‘When My Children Were Born, I Started to Love Belgium’ : Moroccan Migrant Mothers’ Narratives of Affective Citizenship in the Belgian Citizenisation Context.” JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183x.2020.1855132.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Miri, Amal, Irma Emmery, and Chia Longman. 2021. “‘When My Children Were Born, I Started to Love Belgium’ : Moroccan Migrant Mothers’ Narratives of Affective Citizenship in the Belgian Citizenisation Context.” JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES: 1–18. doi:10.1080/1369183x.2020.1855132.
Vancouver
1.
Miri A, Emmery I, Longman C. “When my children were born, I started to love Belgium’ : Moroccan migrant mothers” narratives of affective citizenship in the Belgian citizenisation context. JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES. 2021;1–18.
IEEE
[1]
A. Miri, I. Emmery, and C. Longman, “‘When my children were born, I started to love Belgium’ : Moroccan migrant mothers’ narratives of affective citizenship in the Belgian citizenisation context,” JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES, pp. 1–18, 2021.
@article{8684239,
  abstract     = {{Integration policies and citizenisation programmes tend to have narrow conceptions of 'good' citizenship and are often articulated alongside specific assumptions regarding different migrant groups. This study draws on the qualitative research of a unique citizenisation pilot programme in Flanders, Belgium. The programme offered the combination of language courses, citizenisation and education support, and specifically targeted low literate migrant mothers from a non-EU background. Our analysis reveals the discrepancies between dominant discourses about integration and citizenisation and the participants' own views and experiences. We found that the government-subsidised local programme primarily focused on the mothers' citizenship in terms of linguistic and cultural integration, while the women themselves mostly endorsed an affective citizenship as mothers, wives and community members, by centralising mothering and care work. Furthermore, the programme oscillated between paternalism and support, visible in discourses of 'need' and 'empowerment'. And finally, the mothers' agency to navigate between the programme's objectives and their own were dependent on their intersectional positionings; the more literate and the longer their residence in the host society, the more critical they were regarding the programme's agenda. Based on these findings, some empirically obtained directives for future citizenisation programmes are suggested.}},
  author       = {{Miri, Amal and Emmery, Irma and Longman, Chia}},
  issn         = {{1369-183X}},
  journal      = {{JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES}},
  keywords     = {{Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous),Demography,Migrant mothers,care work,affective citizenship,citizenisation,Belgium,WOMEN}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{1--18}},
  title        = {{‘When my children were born, I started to love Belgium’ : Moroccan migrant mothers’ narratives of affective citizenship in the Belgian citizenisation context}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369183x.2020.1855132}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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