Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg: Mothers on the Move: Social and Legal Anthropological Perspectives

Based upon ethnographic research with Cameroonian migrant mothers in Berlin and ideas about legal consciousness, this presentation focuses on how everyday experiences and understandings of law shape the ways migrant mothers find partners, get married, bear children, and raise them. It shows how African migrants tell each other stories about their encounters with German regulations and the teachers, physicians, and public officials who enforce them. The resulting narratives form the basis of collectively held ideas about getting along with the law in a new place. They become part of the creation and transmission of culture and normativity.

Social Anthropologist Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg holds an endowed chair as Broom Professor of Social Demography and Anthropology at the Department for Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and is director of the African and African American Studies program. Since August 2013 she is fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture”.