Race, ethnicité, peuples autochtones et politique

L18 - Gender, Families, and Migration

Date: Jun 14 | Heure: 12:00pm to 01:30pm | Salle:

Chair/Président/Présidente : Kushan Azadah (York University)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Lindsay Larios (University of Manitoba)

Lovers in a Dangerous Time: Spousal Sponsorship and Post-Pandemic Familial Futures: Megan Gaucher (Carleton University)
Abstract: To curb the spread of COVID-19, the Trudeau Government announced the closing of the border to non-essential travel in March 2020. As a result, sponsorship-seeking couples were forced to remain geographically separated. Using both legal and extra-legal strategies including, among others, visits in neutral border zones, applying for visitor visas, holding rallies, and presenting a petition to Parliament, sponsorship-seeking couples put pressure on the Trudeau government, advocating that the continued separation of families during this time was unjust. Moreover, they took issue with their families being marked as potential health risks to those living within Canadian borders. In her book “Fictive Kinship”, Lee describes family reunification as “an expression of what constitutes a legitimate family, which families should be united, and whether such families should be allowed to join the nation (2013, 6). This allows for a specific version of kinship to be intertwined with longstanding settler-colonial fictives of citizenship and belonging that aim to obscure the boundaries between so-called biological relationships and socially constructed claims around heteropatriarchal, racialized and classed collectivities. Using discourses around spousal sponsorship found in Parliamentary Hansard, media coverage, social media from advocacy/support groups and online forums used by sponsorship-seeking couples, this paper asks the following: What role do sponsorship-seeking couples play in the reproductions of these fictives? In what ways do sponsorship-seeking couples act as gatekeepers and police other sponsorship-seeking couples to justify their own entry? Finally, what are the legislative possibilities for spousal sponsorship post-pandemic?

'We all know the benefits': Justifying the Role of Migrant Grandparents in Canadian Nation-Building: Megan Gaucher (Carleton University), Harshita Yalamarty (Queen's University), Ethel Tungohan (York University), Asma Atique (York University)
Abstract: Since the mid-1990s, Canadian governments have limited parent/grandparent sponsorship through a variety of programs aimed at favouring economic migration over family reunification. One such measure is the ‘Super Visa’ program, introduced in 2011, that permits parents/grandparents to come to Canada as visitors for up to two years at a time. While the program has received criticism for its high sponsorship costs, long waiting times, and its fostering of sponsor dependency, the program continues to be celebrated by all political parties as a pathway for family reunification. This paper will use a gendered and racialized lens to analyze Canadian parliamentary debates and committee proceedings around the Super Visa program, focusing on arguments in support of parent/grandparent migration in the context of multicultural citizenship and migrant belonging. We find that framings of the ‘Super Visa’ as a successful pathway for family reunification and parents/grandparents as much-needed care providers run counter to the longstanding narrative of migrant parents/grandparents as an unproductive drain on social services. This paper highlights that these racialized, gendered narratives used by politicians reveal that Canadian multicultural values are used to support family reunification only in so far as these enable the economic productivity of Canadian immigrant-citizens.

The Uncanny Journey of Remembering between Past, Present, and Future: Generational Remembering among Turkish Cypriot Families: Beyza Hatun Kiziltepe (McMaster University)
Abstract: An unresolved state of conflict has continued in Cyprus since the 1950s. Today, there are countless accounts of memory narratives about the Cyprus ethnic conflict. Drawing on the ethnographic research conducted in the Northern Part of Cyprus with native Turkish Cypriots, this paper endeavors to understand how different generations of Turkish Cypriot families remember the ethnic conflict and make sense of their experiences regarding the politicization of memory and history-making of nation-states. In doing so, I argue that remembering becomes political through intentional, selective, and conscious acts of individuals. Accordingly, memories are grounded upon the interrelation of past experiences, present life situations, and anticipated future imaginations. To interpret the differences and similarities in memory narratives, I ask: could divergent but entangled memory narratives be considered one of the constituents of the othering formations among the Turkish Cypriot community? This paper hopes to deliver a fresh dimension to the Cyprus ethnic conflict analysis in IR by emphasizing that individuals’ memories are also inclined to function as ideological tools of some local and international political forces and hegemonic ideologies of specific eras. Concomitantly, not only the native but also the settler Turkish Cypriots should be considered the primary power forces in historiography and conflict resolution discussions.