The Transnational Families of Filipino Nurses in Ireland in the Midst of an Emerging Philippines-Ireland Migration System

Florio O. Arguillas, Cornell University

This study investigates how evolving Irish state policies contributed to the reconfiguration of roles of members of the transnational families of Filipino nurses working in Ireland. Prior to March 2004, Filipino spouses (80% men) of nurses in Ireland were not permitted to work, resulting in delayed family reunification, total dependency on nurse’s income, spousal return migration, engagement in “under-the-radar” side jobs, and entire families leaving Ireland for more “family-friendly” countries. Because they could not work, men took on the roles traditionally handled by women like cooking, washing clothes, minding kids and taking them to school. Others developed a rotating child-care arrangement in which a group of married men would rotate minding each other’s kids while other members worked. These findings were from three group interviews of nurses, in-depth interviews of 26 nurses, 16 spouses of nurses, and other key informants.

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Presented in Session 88: International Migration Systems