chapter  12
Migrating males and gender role exchange
A study on how Indonesian males perceive their masculinities through caregiving activities 1
ByValentina Yulita Dyah Utari
Pages 17

This study highlights how four Indonesian married men with children perceive their masculinities through exchanging caregiving roles with their female partners while accompanying the partners who are continuing their higher education in Australia on a scholarship. In-depth interviews with the couples aim to cover their background information, process of migration, normal daily activities, social networks and division of labour between the males and their wives, emphasising how the participants situate the notion of men as breadwinners in their migration period.

The interview structure allows the participants to reflect on practices that guide their decisions in managing care work and household chores, likely leading to the (re)construction of their identities. To start a conversation on role negotiation, however, is challenging for all participants.

Despite the role exchange, this study finds that the reconfiguration of gendered household arrangements is not preserved once the participants are back in Indonesia. Nevertheless, this study consistently shows that there is no single idea of gender roles and norms in terms of managing childcare and household chores, and there is no single idea of masculinity.