احساس گناه و سفر به گناه: احساسات و انگیزش در مهاجرت و مراقبت های چند ملیتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|30104||2014||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Emotion, Space and Society, Available online 31 October 2014
This paper explores experience of 'guilt' as a motivating emotion in the migrant process. Data are drawn from two major research projects with a focus on Italian transnational families comprising adult migrant children living in Australia and their ageing parents in Italy. Findings confirm Baumeister et al.'s (1994) three broad functions of guilt as relationship-enhancing; a tool for exerting influence over others; and a mechanism for alleviating inequities in relationships. The analysis extends this social relational understanding of guilt by locating it within the broader context of cultural processes to argue that a moral obligation to return is implicit in the migration process.
As a scholar of migration working in the disciplines of anthropology and sociology, the issue of emotions has always been relevant and evident, but has rarely been the focus of my research. This tendency to overlook emotions is common in migration studies generally (Mai and King, 2009: 297), although there is a growing body of research (including this Special Issue) that responds to this gap (e.g. Svasek, 2012). In this paper I draw on two substantial migration research projects, neither of which was designed specifically to analyse emotions, but both of which elicited data that lends itself to an examination of emotions and motivation. The focus of both projects was the ongoing connections between migrants and their homelands and, in particular, the transnational family relationships maintained across time and distance between adult migrant children and their ageing parents in Italy. Findings from both projects indicate that an emotion central to key motivations in the migration process is guilt. In the words of one migrant daughter; “Guilt, guilt, guilt is what all migrants face!” Despite receiving a certain amount of attention from psychologists, guilt has featured only occasionally in the anthropological and sociological literature on emotions. This said, the emotion or notion of ‘shame’, which is thought to be closely connected to guilt, has received much attention in the anthropological literature (especially of the Mediterranean), particularly in relation to the cultural construction of honour and morality (Peristiani, 1966 and Herzfeld 1980; see also; Fassin, 2012). The long-standing anthropological notion that shame is a more public emotion and guilt a more private affair (Benedict, 1946), has been challenged by recent psychological research (Tangney et al., 1996). However, there continues to be general agreement among psychologists that they are distinct emotions (Keltner and Buswell, 1996). Shame is generally thought to be more painful than guilt and to involve a negative assessment of the whole self – I am bad [shame], rather than of some specific action, or failure to act – I have done a bad thing [guilt] ( Lewis, 1971). Baumeister et al. (1994, 244) point out that when guilt is examined in the psychological literature, it is primarily theorised as largely or entirely linked to private self-consciousness (e.g. Buss, 1980: 159), defined as ‘a solitary affair and a product of mainly intrapsychic processes’. The central aim of my paper is to confirm Baumeister et al.'s (1994) critique of this view and to extend their analysis of guilt as ‘an intrapsychic phenomenon that originates in interpersonal attachments and social exchange’ (p261) through an examination of its role as a motivating emotion in the migration process. This view of guilt reflects the relatively recent shift in social psychology to theorise emotions as relational rather than intrapsychic. For example, the psychologist De Rivera (1984) proposed that all emotional states are based on interpersonal relationships and, indeed, that all emotions are fundamentally concerned with adjusting these relationships (see also Frijda, 1986). I apply an anthropological approach to emotion to examine how emotions arise out of social and cultural processes (e.g. Harre, 1986, Bendelow and Williams, 1998 and Parkinson et al., 2005). I am particularly interested in social science discussions about the relationship between morality and emotions. Some anthropologists, for example Michelle Rosaldo (1984), argue that emotions are moral statements. Similarly, the psychologist Janice Lindsay-Hartz (1984) argues that guilt experiences are characterised by “a violation of the moral order”. My hypothesis is that the act of migration, by causing physical separation, absence and longing, places the migrant in a difficult moral bind, in particular concerning their obligations to care for ageing parents. The normative expectations of ideal family caregiving, at least in dominant Western configurations, assume kin must be physically present to adequately care for each other (Jamieson, 1998).1 For example, the major bodies of literature on caring (including feminist, gerontology and nursing) all pose a very narrow definition of care as dependant or ‘hands on’ that, by definition, demands physical co-presence. In addition, research on Italian conceptions of care and wellbeing suggest that the elderly commonly define their health in direct relation to how regularly they see and how close (both emotionally and geographically) they feel they are to their children, particularly daughters, who are expected to provide for all the care needs of their ageing parents and parents-in-law (Zontini, 2007, MacKinnon, 1998, Di Leonardo, 1987 and Baldassar, 2011a). The data I report on in this paper suggest that migrants feel guilty because the physical separation and absence imposed by their migration severely restricts their ability to fulfil their caregiving obligations to their elderly parents, which prioritise physical co-presence. These ‘guilty feelings’ motivate them to ‘stay in touch’ as often and as effectively as they can by creating opportunities in which they can exchange virtual (and other forms of) co-presence across distance in an attempt to fulfil their sense of moral obligation. Here the relationship between guilt and obligation requires unpacking and is relevant to all family contexts, whether migration is involved or not. In focussing on guilt as an interpersonal and social construct, Baumeister et al. (1994) argue that guilt is especially prevalent in certain types of relationships: “People appear to feel guilty when they hurt, neglect, or disappoint others and when they benefit unfairly vis-à-vis others or at others' expense. Communal relationships, based on expectations of mutual concern for each other's welfare, are particularly relevant to causing guilt (p261)” In anthropological and sociological terms, these ‘communal relationships’ might be more clearly defined as social relationships characterised by shared moral obligations. For example, family caregiving relationships are defined by the ‘norm of generalised reciprocity’ in which people give care without measuring exactly the amount they receive, but with the expectation and obligation that care will be returned to them (Baldassar and Merla, 2014: 7). A pertinent exemplar of this norm in the context of this paper is what family and gerontology studies refer to as the ‘generational contract’, where parents care for their young who in turn care for them when they age (Bengtson and Achenbaum, 1993). In the words of an Italian migrant daughter; I would feel guilty … Because I feel that you know, they have cared for me, and I should care for them, I feel that that's why they're – that's why they lived all their lives for their children. So, holy cow! If we can't even care for them in the end! I am a bit shocked [by] the Australian system, because as you know, I am married into an Australian family, and [my husband] has a grandmother who needs care and she doesn't get it. This said, not all family members give and receive care equally. Women typically shoulder a far greater burden of care and generally give more than they receive, an issue I have discussed extensively elsewhere: … care and the ability to exchange it can be considered a type of resource or form of social capital … that is unevenly distributed within families, subject to cultural notions of gender and identity roles relating to rights and obligations to care, which intersect with, and interrelate to, the historical care regimes of the various nation-states and communities in which families reside. (Baldssar and Merla, 2014: 7) Guilt as a motivating emotion in this context is particularly interesting as it can be conceived as a resource that can be used by the less powerful, often women and the elderly, to elicit caregiving responses from those with more power. The ability to employ guilt in this way, colloquially referred to as the ‘guilt trip’, relies heavily on the norm and culturally defined moral obligations of generalised reciprocity that are constitutive of family (and ‘communal’) relationships. This interpretation confirms and extends Baumeister et al.'s (1994) emphasis on the interpersonal by examining guilt as a set of moral relationships that reproduce gendered cultures of care. What follows is an analysis of the relational and cultural features of guilt in the context of the migration process, including how guilt is expressed in discursive performances across transnational social fields. 1.1. Migration research methods and transnational caregiving data As noted above, this paper is informed by two substantial migration research projects. The first project, ‘visits home’, involved several years of ethnographic research conducted in the 1990s comprising extensive participant observation with approximately 40 families (including over 80 interviews) exploring the relationships between migrants in Perth, Western Australia and their homeland kin in the Veneto region of north-eastern Italy. Through a detailed analysis of the increasingly regular visits these labour migrants made to their native towns over the course of a century, the visit home is conceptualised as a symbolic act of recompense in response to the culturally defined moral obligation to return to kin and country ( Baldassar, 2001, Baldassar, 2011a and Baldassar, 2011b). In this historical and cultural context, feelings of guilt, often combined with a sense of longing in the form of homesickness (expressed by informants using the Italian term ‘nostalgia’) appears to be a central motivation in migrant's continuing ties to homeland. I return to an analysis of this data later to explore the relational and cultural features of guilt in the migration process in a broader context. First, I examine the role of guilt and motivation in the more micro processes of cultures of care. The second project, ‘transnational caregiving’, is a collaborative study comprising over 200 ethnographic life-history interviews and participant observation conducted between 2000 and 2004 ( Baldassar et al., 2007), with on-going follow up research. Data collection includes a ‘two-ended’ study design involving families living in Perth as well as with their kin living in the countries of origin, including Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, New Zealand and Iran. The findings document the various practices and processes of caregiving exchanged between adult migrants and refugees and their ageing parents living great distances away. For the purposes of this paper, I focus primarily on the approximately 24 families (over 40 interviews) in the Italian migrant sample (from both labour and middle-class backgrounds). I also draw some tentative comparisons using data from the Dutch (mostly skilled migrants and expatriates) and refugee samples. A feature of the study's design that is particularly relevant to this paper is that we first contacted adult migrant children in Australia and through them requested permission to contact their parents living abroad. This meant that the study contains a predominance of women (the main carers) and that most of the families who elected to participate (though certainly not all) are generally on good terms with each other. It should be stressed that migration is obviously not the only cause of guilt in family relationships and I do not want to suggest that family life is a necessarily harmonious experience in the absence of migration. Rather, I am examining how migration provokes feelings of guilt in the context of family relations. To return to my hypothesis: the act of migration, by causing physical separation, absence and longing often results in migrants' ‘feeling guilty’ about not being physically present to fulfil the moral obligation of caring for their ageing parents. These ‘guilty feelings’ provide strong motivation for adult children to put significant time and energy into ‘keeping in touch’ and ‘staying in contact’ from a distance. The provision and exchange of this ‘distant care’ in migrant and transnational settings relies on the exchange of communication (and finances) through various technologies including, most commonly, the telephone, email, SMS texting, skype calls, letter and card writing as well as postal and international banking services. As the idiomatic expressions indicate, the exchange of communication involved in ‘keeping in touch’ and ‘staying in contact’ produces co-presence across distance. Thus, co-presence in transnational settings can take a variety of forms, which I have examined in detail elsewhere (Baldassar, 2008a) including virtual - provided by phone conversations, skype calls and emails; proxy - transmitted via special objects, including gifts, photos and recipes or persons who embody the longed for loved one; imagined – through regular evocations of distant kin, such as daily prayers and conversations with proximate family and friends; and physical – achieved during visits, which are a common feature of transnational family relations. These processes of creating ‘distant’ co-presence are not necessarily dissimilar to those employed in proximate caregiving contexts, (although, arguably, the migration process serves to intensify and heighten their importance given the greater limitation on opportunities for physical co-presence.) Indeed, caregiving (whether proximate or distant), particularly the exchange of moral and emotional support, involves being available emotionally to give of one's self (to create co-presence) as a way of expressing and delivering care. Such kin-work (Di Leonardo, 1987) and emotional labour (Hochschild, 1983) are bound up in notions of obligation and morality that involve a reciprocity of self. Relevant here is Mauss's (1969) classic work on gift exchange, only in this case what is being exchanged is the gift of one's presence, of, ‘just being there’. To give of the self through the exchange of co-presence in transnational settings sets up further obligations for continued exchanges. What motivates this obligation to give of the self, as well as how this giving is to be performed, are the particularistic ties of kinship as well as the culturally constructed normative ideals about kin roles and obligation that serve to maintain family and community networks. These may differ significantly across cultures and by gender, class, age and generation. I am not suggesting that guilt is necessarily integral to the migration process across all migration types, historical contexts and cultures – as an inevitable result of the absence caused by migration. Rather, guilt appears to be a dominant emotional grammar (Beatty, 2005 and McKay, 2007) that is performed in the transnational families in my studies, particularly among the lifestyle/skilled Italian migrants. This interpretation of guilt supports the view that emotions can be considered to stem from social and cultural processes (Parkinson et al., 2005). All migrations result in fractured family and community histories as the migrants and the stay-behinds experience a variety of breaks and limitations on their relationships. I would argue that in Italian conceptions of migration (both labour and lifestyle), cultural constructions of guilt may play a central role in helping to restore and sustain transnational relationships. Guilt can thus have both positive and negative effects (often simultaneously) in sustaining communal relationships, although sometimes to the detriment of individual autonomy, and these are explored in the next section.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
While the term ‘shame’ was rarely mentioned by people in the two migration research projects I draw on for this paper, the term, idea of and feelings about ‘guilt’ were very common. Sociologist Elspeth Probyn (2005) has explored shame as a positive force in society. While my research findings tend to question her assessment that guilt is ‘easier to get rid of [than shame] and once dealt with is forgotten’ (a question which warrants further research), I am inspired by her work, as well as Baumeister et al.'s (1994) to consider the potential positive social aspects of guilt and its capacity for relationship building, in particular as a motivating emotion in sustaining family networks and kinship relationships over distance and time. My findings indicate that a characteristic feature of ‘feeling guilty’, particularly for the women in my studies, is precisely that it is a ubiquitous and ever-present feeling of not having adequately met kinship obligations to care. While guilt was often described by migrants as a feeling that ‘is always there’ and that they could ‘never really get rid of’, this constant ‘guilty feeling’ can arguably be defined as a mostly positive motivating force in maintaining and sustaining relationships over time and distance. In other words, to feel guilty, although it is not a pleasant emotion, is one way of expressing appropriate levels of care and concern, and is therefore in itself a confirmation of appropriate behaviour or of being a ‘good’ or ‘attentive’ child/grandparent. This argument is not intended to debunk conceptualisations of guilt as a negative and damaging emotion, but instead to acknowledge guilt as also a potentially positive and constructive social response. By attending to the cultural specificities of both the processes of migration and of family relationships, this paper demonstrates how migrants and their homeland kin sustain transnational emotional fields that develop out of histories of previous co-present negotiated relationships, culturally informed notions of obligation in which feeling guilty and guilt trips are performed as a kind of emotional grammar that constitutes and reaffirms these relations. In many ways guilt is performed and functions much like the emotion of iliw described by McKay (2007) among Ifugo Filipinos. 5 The Italian migrants and their homeland kin in my studies appear to mediate their connections across transnational social fields, ‘showing’ and ‘sharing feeling’ through the performance of guilt. McKay (2007) argues that, ‘Within this new emotional field, we find new and distinctive forms of agency and subjectivity produced through long-distance emotional connections.’ The relevance of new technologies and their role in transnational family communication is pertinent here. In previous work, I have argued that access to new communication technologies increases not only the desire for regular transnational family contact, but also the obligation to be in touch ( Baldassar, 2011b and Baldassar et al., 2007: 223). In other words, the capacity to be in touch when and as often as one chooses eliminates any acceptable excuse not to be in frequent contact and therefore, failure to be in touch can be judged as poor caregiving or poor kin behaviour. In contemporary transnational relationships with high access to technologies of communication, the choice and use of media is itself ‘a major communicative act’ ( Madianou and Miller, 2012, 139) providing potential new sources of guilt-induced motivation. The process of migration, which by definition is characterised by the separation of family and loved ones, offers fertile ground for the exploration of the sociality of emotions as they relate to ties of kinship, obligation and reciprocity. In the case of the migrant transnational families examined in this paper, guilt appears to be a commonly expressed emotion triggered by absence and separation. However, despite the impediments of distance, caregiving can take place transnationally, particularly if we recognise the central role and importance of the gift of self. In migration processes, the caregiving exchanges of the gift of self are motivated by a set of obligations implicit in cultural understandings of gender roles and of the migration project itself. A sense of obligation to care is defined by shared cultural understandings embedded in particularistic kin relationships. Notions of obligation are differentiated and divergent as they are experienced by, and apply differently to, various family members depending on gender, age and the negotiation of family relationships over time. Guilty feelings and guilt trips are mapped out onto these relationships in response to these deeply relational but potentially divergent understanding and expectations of caregiving obligation. Central to Italian conceptions of the labour migration experiences presented in this paper is the moral obligation to return. Similarly, for the skilled/lifestyle Italian migrants discussed here, the separation that characterises migration sets up a moral obligation to remain in touch and to facilitate co-presence. Failing to meet these obligations results in feelings of guilt that serve to motivate the activity and practice of transnational communication. The expression of guilt is also a culturally appropriate response that is a social statement of care. In this way, guilt can be defined, not only as a type of interpersonal sensitivity, but also as an expression of cultural processes.