Transnational Journeys and Domestic Histories

Article English OPEN
Webster, Wendy (2006)

This essay considers the potential of histories of transnational movements of people, and the erosion of boundaries between British domestic and imperial history, to expand and revise the history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century British domestic life and work. Literatures on migration demonstrate how far the history of home involves transnational themes, including the recruitment of migrants and refugees who crossed national borders to do domestic work—in Britain and empire—and their development of what has been called the 'transnational family'. Domestic life, including motherhood, cannot be fully understood outside the history of the control and orchestration of national borders: which people were allowed inside for settlement, which people were refused entry, which people were positively encouraged to enter. The essay considers refugee movements as part of transnational movements—a neglected area in historical work, including work on Britain—developing a case study that compares the recruitment of people from displaced persons camps to the Australian and British labour markets in the late 1940s, situating both recruitment schemes in the context of post-war British migration to Australia.
Share - Bookmark