Norwegian Women's Experiences of 20th-Century Migration to England: Narratives Of Changing Gender Roles



This article discusses migratory gender roles within a north/north movement context. Using the case of older Norwegian women migrating to England while young, actively making migration part of their lives, it combines life course theory and migration theory about transnationalism, and presents three migratory life trajectory typologies. These are developed from life course interviews, based on class and gender role differences. One, upper-class based, is about transnational marriage as a key to leaving a small Norwegian community and becoming a ‘European’ housewife. Another, working-class based, is about using an au pair job as a stepping stone to migration and marriage, doing family-life-adapted paid work in Norwegian workplace ‘niches’. The third, middle-class based, is about using the migratory process for strengthening a professional identity. The article shows how a feeling of transnational ambiguity is exceeded the more the migratory gender role is about realising one’s own potentials, moving towards gender equality.


Female primary migrantsGender rolesLife courseTransnationalismAmbiguity
  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 18-33
  • DOI: 10.2478/njmr-2019-0034
  • Published on 1 Mar 2020
  • Peer Reviewed