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Motherhood as cultural citizenship: Indonesian women in transnational families
journal contributionposted on 2008-12-01, 00:00 authored by Monika WinarnitaMonika Winarnita
This paper argues that motherhood as cultural citizenship is a useful concept in understanding citizenship issues for Indonesian women in transnational families, their experiences and subject positioning. Furthermore, in the face of discourses valuing Indonesian women's role foremost as mother and wife, narrating citizenship as motherhood can become central to legitimising a social performance of national identity. Four narratives of Indonesian women in transnational families are presented to illustrate political motherhood in combination with cultural citizenship. It is based on ethnographic research among Indonesian Australian families in Canberra, as well as communication with several members of international online communities, such as the lobby group KPC Melati. In July 2006, this group was successful in gaining restricted dual citizenship rights for children up to the age of 18 years of Indonesian mothers and non-Indonesian fathers. Previously, Indonesia citizenship had been based exclusively on paternal descent.