Appropriating Stereotypes of Kin, Romance and Gender: An Ethnographic Study of Filipina Migrants Married to or in De-Facto Relationships with New Zealand Men
Transnational marriage migration is an emerging area of interest in anthropology, and contemporary scholars have written extensively on the international movements of Filipina women who have married non-Filipino men. Extending this research into an antipodean context, this thesis is based on interviews with Filipina migrants married to or in de-facto relationships with New Zealand men. Through an examination of narratives of love and romance, identity, and kinship, this work highlights the ways participants undertook identity work in their interviews. In particular, this thesis reveals the strategies employed by Filipina migrants in constructing narratives in which they distance themselves from negative stereotypes, while incorporating more positive typologies into their identities. Stereotypes included Filipina women as mail-order brides, domestic workers, subservient wives, and good family members. These narrative strategies demonstrated the ways participants sought to control and manipulate stereotypes in order to present themselves as successful and virtuous migrants. This thesis applies current scholarship on identity work and stereotypes. It also contributes to literature on marriage migration by expanding a contemporary focus on participant agency through acknowledging how migrants utilise identity resources, in this case stereotypes, available in their host society.