Immigrant Women Tell Their Stories  book cover
1st Edition

Immigrant Women Tell Their Stories

ISBN 9780789018304
Published June 2, 2004 by Routledge
284 Pages

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Book Description

“I felt like an alien who fell down to earth, not understanding the rules of the game, making all the possible mistakes, saying all the wrong things.”

“Your whole life is in the hands of other people who do not always mean well and there is nothing you can do about it. They can decide to send you away and you have no control.”

“The moment I enter the house, I shelve my American self and become the 'little obedient wife' that my husband wants me to be.”

“The most difficult part is to find myself again. At the beginning I lost myself.”

This jargon-free book documents and analyzes the experience of immigration from the female perspective. It discusses the unique challenges that women face, offers insights into the meanings of their experiences, develops gender-sensitive knowledge about immigration, and discusses implications for the effective development and provision of services to immigrant women. With fascinating case studies of immigration to the United States, Australia, and Israel as well as helpful lists of relevant organizations and Web site/Internet addresses, Immigrant Women Tell Their Stories is for everyone who wants to learn or teach about immigration, especially its female face.

“It was like somebody sawed my heart in two. One part remained in Cuba and one part here.”

Immigrant Women Tell Their Stories examines the nature of immigration for women through the eyes of those who have experienced it: how they perceive, interpret, and address the nature of the experience, its multiple aspects, the issues that it presents, and the strategies that immigrant women develop to cope with those issues. The women in this extraordinary book came from different spots around the globe, speak different languages and dialects, and their English comes in different accents. They vary in age as well as in cultural, ethnic, social, educational, and professional status. They represent a rainbow of family types and political opinions. In spite of their diversity, all these women share immigration experience. This book provides an understanding of the journeys they traveled and the experiences they lived to bring you new insights into what it means to immigrate as a woman and to frame effective strategies for working with—and for—immigrant women.

“My father is the head of the house. When he decided to move to America [from India] my mother and us, the daughters, did not have much say. My mother and I were not happy at all, but it did not matter.”

Immigrant Women Tell Their Stories provides you with historical and global perspectives on immigration and addresses:

  • legal, political, economic, social, and psychological dimensions of immigration and its aftermath
  • deconstructing immigration by age, gender, and circumstances
  • major issues of immigrant women—language, mothering, relationships and marriage, finding employment, assimilation (how much and how soon), loneliness, and more
  • resilience in immigrant women
  • immigration from a lesbian perspective
  • guidelines for the development and delivery of services to immigrant women
“You may say that I am the bridge, the desert generation that lost the chance to have it my way. But I will do my best to raise my daughters to have more choices than I.”

In this well-referenced book, immigrant women from Austria, Bosnia, Cuba, various parts of the former Soviet Union, Guatemala, India, Israel, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, and the Philippines tell us their stories, recount what their experiences entailed and what challenges they posed, and teach us ways to help them cope successfully.

“This was the best decision we could have made and the best thing we had ever done.”

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface: How and Why This Book was Born
  • Part I: Understanding and Studying Women’s Migration
  • Chapter 1. Immigration: The Process and Its Aftermath
  • Introduction
  • Developmental Aspect of Immigration
  • Effects of Immigration
  • Women and Immigration
  • Chapter 2. Methodology: How the Research for This Book Was Done
  • Types of Immigration Research
  • Assumptions and Principles of Qualitative Research
  • Interviewing in Qualitative Research
  • Understanding Women Perspectives
  • Conducting the Interviews
  • The Sample
  • National Immigration Policies
  • Analysis of the Interviews
  • Limitations
  • Part II: Stories of Immigrant Women
  • Chapter 3. My Story: An Immigrant Daughter of an Immigrant Mother
  • Chapter 4. Immigrants to the United States
  • Sonia: From Beirut to New York
  • Maria: I Left My Heart in Havana
  • Nadra: The “Desert” Generation
  • Klara: A Lifelong Tale of Relocations
  • Tara: I Will Show Them
  • Sarah: The Quiet Fighter
  • Chapter 5. Immigrants to Israel
  • Genevieve: Immigration As a Never-Ending Process
  • Parastu: A Minority Within a Minority
  • Ana: Women Are Like Cats—Throw Them and They Jump Back on Their Feet
  • Mare: A Long-Distance Runner
  • Svetlana: Always Mining the Good
  • Teresina: A Spring of Optimism
  • Chapter 6. Immigrants to Australia and New Zealand
  • Rosa: An Asian in a White County
  • Natasha: In Australia, Become an Australian
  • Sabin: To Immigrate As a Lesbian
  • Matijia: The Lemonade Maker
  • Hang: A Salute to Immigrant Mothers
  • Dunja: The Percussionist
  • Part III: Conclusions and Implications
  • Chapter 7. Major Themes in Women’s Narratives
  • Resilience of Immigrant Women: Flexible Strength
  • The Double Life of Immigrant Women: Coping with Duality
  • Gains and Losses
  • Summary: Main Findings
  • Chapter 8. Implications for Service Development and Delivery
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Specialized Services for Immigrant Women
  • Direct Services to Individuals and Families
  • Community Programs
  • Policy Development
  • A Multiservice Center for Immigrant Women: A Viable Solution
  • Epilogue
  • Resources
  • References
  • Index

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