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Moralizing emotional remittances: transnational familyhood and translocal moral economy in the Philippines' ‘Little Italy’

Global Networks

Published online on


In this article, I explain the intersections of morality and emotions in the (re)constitution of transnational familyhood and translocal moral economy. I use the case of the Philippines’ ‘Little Italy’ to explore the translocal emotional geographies of sustaining transnational families through what I call ‘emotional remittances', which indicate how emotions move across translocal social fields through remittances. I first probe the understandings of transnational familyhood in the Philippines and then move on to interrogate the translocal moral economy that influences the meanings of, and attitudes towards, emotional remittances. I first argue that the continuation of transnational familyhood implies the subscription to the translocal moral economy embedded in sending societies. Second, this translocal moral economy is underpinned by emotional constructs such as love, ingratitude and guilt, that (re)shape and are (re)shaped by transnational familyhood. The findings and analysis in this article contribute to further theorizations of the interrelations of emotion, remittances and transnational family formation.