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The Challenge of Migrant Motherhood: The Childrearing Practises of Chinese First-Time Mothers in Australia




This chapter is about the experiences of 20 (21 including myself) Chinese migrant women who became mothers for the first-time in their adopted country of Australia. It examines their active adaptation when confronted with the demands of a double transition: becoming a mother for the first-time and being in the process of settling down as a migrant. It also attempts to study factors perceived by these women to be affecting their attitudes and childrearing practices during the first two years after giving birth. But it all began with my own story. I would not have embarked on such a study if I, a migrant mother myself, had not reacted so strongly to the experience of becoming a new mother in a new land.


Contents include

  • Being a first-time mother
  • Being a first-time mother and migrant
  • Child rearing practices
  • Chinese traditions
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Author / Editor Biographies

MasterD (Social Work), Secretary (Transcultural Life Enrichment Centre, Melbourne)
Irene I Ling Liem was a social work lecturer in her home country, Hong Kong, prior to her immigration to Australia in 1984. She completed her Master of Social Work at The University of Melbourne in 1992 and is currently the honorary secretary of the Transcultural Life Enrichment Centre in Melbourne. Her research interests are in the area of parenting in a bicultural environment.

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