In recent European literature on migration, two main trends characterize the ways in which migrants are increasingly portrayed. The first tends to define migrants in terms of their belonging to `communities’ while, in the second trend, migrants and refugees epitomize ideas of diaspora and hybridity, as resistance to constructions of place-bound `communities’. In the context of these trends, women migrants hold ambivalent positions as particular `others’. The authors of this article, therefore, attempt to problematize the `purity’ of these approaches. Based on research with Albanian migrant women in Athens, they examine the ways in which these women construct very local, but also transnational and imagined communities while they seek to settle and find ways of integrating in the new setting. The article discusses thus: (a) the importance of informal practices of support and assistance at the neighborhood level; and (b) the role of social services (health and child care), as they affect migrant women’s efforts to negotiate a place for themselves and their dependents, to forge a sense of belonging and redefine communities and gender relations.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.