Liz Thomas

Publication Date



Studies of transnational family formation and care relationships suggest that, while family forms and care values are idealized, they are also negotiated, enacted, and fluid constructs. Strategies of resilience and mechanisms of flexible care achieved by transnational families are fine-tuned under multiple influences. Among these influences are well-known sources such as social networks, as well as less well-understood sources such as religious teachings. We report findings of a 4-month, ethnographic study among Latinx immigrants to the U.S. whose (n = 14) narratives of family “care” reflect their ideals and simultaneously work to linguistically produce role continuity. Thematic results address three key strategies for achieving this continuity: (1) valuations of flexibility; (2) family-like care by non-family and church members; and (3) commitments to and reliance on new networks, particularly through church relations. We conclude by suggesting how family-like care, such as that from church relations, informs the flexible relational obligations, resources, resiliencies, and values of transnational migrants.

Document Type



care, family-like, religious affiliation, transnational, migrants, Latter-day Saints, familism/familismo

2268_001.pdf (92 kB)