Volume 9 Issue 1 - August 1, 2015
The temporality of separation and togetherness: Ukrainian children write about life in transnational families
In the last two decades, many Ukrainian parents have left their families temporarily in order to find work abroad. Children left behind in Ukraine are at the centre of this migration process: the rationalization for leaving children behind is as a rule to secure their present and future life in material terms. In this article, I analyse how children conceptualise the separation between migrating parents and their left behind children, giving special attention to the temporal dimensions of separation and togetherness. I argue that children do not necessarily share migrant parentsí use of future betterment for their children as a legitimate motivation for migration, and that children view their own agency in the migration process as limited. The data material I analyse in this article consists of 143 literary texts written by Ukrainian schoolchildren, and was collected through a national literary contest, that I initiated in 2008.
This article rests on the assumption that it is not possible to imagine universal and invariant characteristics of childhood. There are varying cultural conceptualizations and contexts within which childhood unfolds (Jenks, 1996) and thus each culture has its own notions and ways of defining children and childhood. This article attempts to explore the representations of children and childhood as portrayed in selected advertisements on Indian television. The article brought to fore that the representations of children and childhood in the advertisements were not singular and normative but pluralistic and complex. The debate around child-adult binary was marked by both-discontinuity and continuity. The importance of children was reiterated while positioning children into families and the larger social context. Children as potential consumers, susceptible to commodification and adultification also found articulation. The article suggests that to capture the dominant representations of children and childhood in a particular society, it is imperative to understand them embedded in the contexts.