The phenomenon of “transnational family” or “spilt-household transnational family” is a strategy to maximize the children’s educational opportunities for success. Seen as part of the “feminization of migration” (Castle & Miller, 1998), highlighting visibility and active roles of women, this form of family has been prevalent in many parts of Asia including Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and South Korea. Called as Geese Mothers, Korean mothers’ transnational mobilities and experiences have been valued based solely on their children’s educational success (i.e. sending them to prestigious schools), which tends to reinforce the monolithic images of Asian immigrant women as devoted mothers (Ngo & Lee, 2007) or “tiger mothers” (Lui & Rollock, 2013).
Drawing on posthumanist theories of affect, this study explores ideas of and desires for educational success among recent Korean Geese Mothers in the U.S. Illuminating how the Geese Mothers’ desires of educational success are intermingled with memories, fantasies, or futurity as well as past and present experiences, this paper reveals that these mothers’ views of a better education for their children in the U.S. put into question the stable notions of educational success that often interlinks with job security. By highlighting these Geese Mothers’ views and efforts for children’s educational success in their new position of student-mother (Lee, 2016), this paper aims to uncover multiple or hidden layers of voices and transnational experiences of Geese Mothers, and thus can disrupt dominant narrative and representations of Asian immigrant mothers and their parenting practices.