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Migrant machismos: Exploring gender ideologies and practices among Latin American migrants in London from a multi-scalar perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-300
Number of pages20
Issue number3
Published10 May 2010

King's Authors


This article examines the complex gendered migration experiences of Latin American women and men migrants in London, an under-studied yet increasingly important 'new migrant group' in the UK. Conceptually, it combines a typology of gendered outcomes of migration, together with the 'gendered geographies of power' framework that also incorporates intersectionality. This allows for a holistic analysis from a multi-scalar perspective across households, labour markets and the state to assess how and why gender identities transform as people move and how these intersect with class, nationality, and race and ethnicity. Drawing on qualitative research with almost 100 (mainly Colombian, Ecuadorian and Bolivian) migrants as well as participant observation, the article highlights the importance of moving beyond stereotyped migration trajectories that assume shifts from traditional gender regimes to so-called modern ones to emphasise a more nuanced picture. The article argues that while there were concrete changes in everyday gender practices or acts in ways that favoured women, this varied according to class and nationality. In addition, more deep-seated transformations in gender ideologies or scripts were much more resistant to change. Social disempowerment was critically important in tempering changes in femininities and masculinities, although the transformation of hegemonic masculinities into marginalised or subordinate masculinities reflected both the acceptances of changes in gender practices in households and labour markets as well as an exaggeration of masculinity in order to compensate for wider experiences of exclusion, although again this was differentiated by nationality and class.

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