Tracey Reynolds – Mapping the Role of ‘Transnational Family Habitus’ in the Lives and Identity of Black Minority Ethnic Young People


Event Date: 5 June 2017

Room B34
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck University of London
Torrington Square
London WC1E 7HX

The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research presents:

Professor Tracey Reynolds (Greenwich) – Mapping the Role of ‘Transnational Family Habitus’ in the Lives and Identity of Black Minority Ethnic Young People

This talk will explore the notion of ‘transnational family habitus’ for making sense of the ways in which young people of migrant background are ‘doing families’ transnationally. Drawing on over a decade long cumulative research on Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) families in the UK, I investigate the opportunities and consequences of a transnational family habitus on family arrangements, kinship relationships and identity within a transnational context. I will then identify the ways in which ‘doing families’ transnationally is a result of BME young people’s racialized and social position. This then becomes for the young people an important social resource for ethnic identity formation and collective mobilisation against racist practices and social exclusion which they encounter in their everyday lives. I therefore conclude that transnational family habitus should be seen as asset because it provides BME young people with a sense of wellbeing, inclusion and belonging.

Tracey Reynolds is a Research Professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Humanities. Her teaching and research interests focus on transnational families and kinship networks; constructions of motherhood and parenting & youth studies, and she has established international recognition within these fields of expertise. She has conducted extensive empirical research in the UK across a range of social issues including black and minority families living in disadvantaged communities, the study of families and in the Caribbean and North America. Research awards include Economic Social Research Council on Caribbean youths and transnational identities (with Elisabetta Zontini); Big Lottery on care planning among BAME older people in London (with Age UK Lewisham and Southwark) and current project on , migrant mothers’ citizenship, awarded by the Arts Humanities Research Council.

Her current research consultancy is with Family Action. Tracey has over 60 publications in the form of books, articles in international peer reviewed journals, chapter in edited volumes, policy reports and working paper. Citation of her publication currently stands at 797. Previous publications include ‘Exploring the absent/present dilemma: Black fathers, family relationships and social capital in Britain’, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, (2009). She is also the author of Caribbean Mothers: Identity and Experience in the UK (published by Tufnell Press, 2005); Transnational Families: Ethnicities, Identities and Social Capital, with Harry Goulbourne, John Solomos and Elisabetta Zontini, (published by Routledge, 2010) and editor of the Special Issue ‘Young People, Ethnicity and Social Capital’ in the Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies (May 2010).

Introduction by Dr Karen Wells (Birkbeck):

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