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Unit information: Gender, Family and Migration in 2021/22

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Gender, Family and Migration
Unit code SOCIM0023
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Charsley
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit explores the importance of gender and family relationships for understanding international migration, and the impacts of migration on gendered relationships and statuses. It allows students to gain a nuanced understanding of the centrality of gender and kinship relationships for understanding migration patterns, the experiences of migrant men and women, the implication of immigration regulations, and the development and characteristics of transnational families. It does so through a thematic structure dealing with key debates and developments in the field such as: the ‘feminisation’ of migration; gender and migration theory; gendered labour market engagements (including migrant domestic and construction workers); sex trafficking and prostitution; marriage-related migration; gender, refugees and asylum; sexuality and migration; men and women ‘left behind’; transnational family relationships; and the impact of intersectional identities in migration-receiving contexts.

The aims of the unit are:

  • to explain the significance of gender and family relationships for understanding migration patterns and experiences.
  • to explore the impact of migration on gender relations and statuses (within families, and in wider context).
  • to develop a gendered analytical approach to issues of immigration policy.
  • to enable students to develop their skills in critical thinking and writing.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the gendered character of migration flows and experiences.
  2. Analyse the significance of migration for family relationships and forms, and vice versa.
  3. Apply these insights to both empirical examples of migration, and discourses surrounding migration.
  4. Critically evaluate the gendered implications of policies governing immigration.

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Details

Formative assessment: 1500 word essay

Summative assessment: 4000 word essay (100%)

All essay questions (formative and summative) will be designed to allow evaluation of student performance in relation to Intended Learning Outcomes 1-4 as detailed below.

The 1500 word formative essay will allow for provision of feedback from the unit owner on the extent to which students have demonstrated an ability to meet the aims and intended learning outcomes of the unit, with suggestions for further improvement.

The summative essay will allow for assessment of students' ability to meet the Intended Learning Outcomes 1-4, detailed below, by requiring students to develop an in-depth essay argument over a length of 4000 words that draws upon relevant readings, materials and debates covered in the unit.

Reading and References

Anthias, F. & G. Lazaridis. 2000. Gender and Migration in Southern Europe. Oxford: Berg

Charsley, K. 2012. Transnational Marriage. London: Routledge

Constable, N. (ed) 2005. Cross-Border Marriages Penn UP

Ehrenreich, B. & A. R. Hochschild (eds) 2002. Global Women: nannies, maids and sex workers in the New Economy Granta

Indra, D (ed) 1999. Engendering Forced Migration. Berghahn

Kelson, G. & D. L. Deleat. (eds) 1999. Gender and Immigration. New York UP

Kilkey, M, D Perrons & A Plomein. 2013. Gender, Migration and Domestic Work: masculinities, male labour and fathering in the UK and USA. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Luibeid, E. 2002. Entry Denied: controlling sexuality at the Border. Minnesota UP

Parrenas, R. 2005. Children of Global Migration. Stanford UP

Ryan, L. & W. Webster (eds). 2009. Gendering Migration: Masculinity, Femininity and Ethnicity in Post-War Britain. Ashgate