Immigration and women's empowerment - Salvadorans in Los Angeles

  • Zentgraf K
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Abstract

Recent discoveries that immigrant women often evaluate their experience more positively than men do have led to speculation that women view their public- and domestic-sphere status and power as having increased as a result of postimmigration employment outside of the home. This study, based on in-depth interviews with 25 Salvadoran women who migrated to Southern California in the 1970s and 1980s, challenges a unilinear integrationist view that sees immigrant women's status and roles as changing along a traditional-modern continuum. Immigrant women's experiences and their perceptions of their experiences are quite diverse and complex. For many, paid employment outside of the home is not a new experience, and the household gender division of labor did not significantly change after migrating to the United States. However women did report a sense of empowerment, newfound freedom, and self-confidence as they negotiated traditional gender roles in a new social and cultural context.

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Authors

  • Kristine M. Zentgraf

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