Tania González-Fernández
Tania González-Fernández

Telephone: +46 (0)8 16 20 00
E-mail: tania.gonzalez@socant.su.se

Tania González-Fernández is a researcher at the Department of Social Anthropology. She joined the department as a PhD student with the Marie Curie Initial Training Network “Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging” (CoHaB) in 2012 and defended her thesis entitled Feeling Across Distance: Transnational Migration, Emotions, and Family Life Between Bolivia and Spain in April 2018. Tania received her BA (2008) in social anthropology from the University of Barcelona. She also holds a BA (2005) in journalism from the Complutense University of Madrid. Tania’s doctoral research addressed the relational dynamics of family life as it is lived across vast distances and over time. It closely examined transnational caring practices, mediated connections, and (non)material exchanges among a number of families stretched between Bolivia and Spain, as well as the interplay of their daily practices with the management of emotions and the circulation of affects. Tania has previously worked in several EU research projects dealing with border regimes, migration policies, and human rights. Her main research interests include international migration, transnational families, care, emotion, and affect.

Research

Feeling Across Distance: Transnational Migration, Emotions, and Family Life Between Bolivia and Spain

What are the relational dynamics of family life as it is lived across vast distances and over time? What underpins these relations, practices, and experiences of being apart and yet together? Based on a long-term multi-sited fieldwork carried out in Spain and Bolivia from 2013 to 2015, this study sets out to address these questions by investigating lived experiences of “doing” and “feeling” family across borders. It conveys the story of ten families divided between Madrid and the Bolivian urban areas of Cochabamba, Sucre, and Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Taking as a point of departure the encounters with middle-aged women who migrated to Spain in the early 2000s, the thesis moves back and forth between “here” and “there” to provide a polyphonic account of family relationships. The thesis argues that family members recreate a sense of “closeness” and maintain their emotional connection despite not being physically together nor seeing each other over long periods of absence. It reveals that transnational family life in this context is constantly shaped by migration regimes, restrictive policies, and global inequalities, on the one hand, and by power relations, gender and generational roles, and life-course stages, on the other. Ultimately, in grappling with the affective dimension of long-distance family relations, the thesis sheds light on the emotional and the corporeal as constitutive aspects of the ethnographic endeavor.

Selected publications

2018

2016

2014

2013

2012

Guest research visits

Information about past activities can be found in the Department’s previous Annual Reports.