Drawing on an ethnographic research of French migrant women settled in Abu Dhabi, this article unravels three ambivalences that define women’s position in privileged migration. First, while privileged migration typically prompts upward social mobility, women also experience an intensification of their assignation to feminine social roles and spaces. Second, while resorting to domestic workers unburdens French women from (some) reproductive labor, it also sustains a transformed domestic constraint. The third ambivalence concerns gendered homosociability, a consequence of structural assignation and a space of resistance. Echoing aspects of white women’s position in colonial contexts, these ambivalences partake in the delineation of whiteness as a dominant social position.
- Abu Dhabi