Sheba George's ethnographic study used participant-observation methods, purposive sampling, and an insider's transnational journey to examine changes in family and social roles that result when nurses from Kerala, India, immigrate to the United States ahead of their husbands. The author concludes that the economic and political gain immigration affords nurses does not translate into enhanced social status for their family in India nor for their husbands in the U.S. when they undergo a gender role transferal from primary breadwinner to homemaker whilst their wives pursue their nursing careers. In a key observation, the author emphasizes that this role transferal also caused shifts in gender structure within the U.S. Kerali community. The purpose of this paper is to offer a review of George's examination of resilience of patriarchal cultural mores and gender roles of Kerali "nurse husbands" in the U.S. and to cross-culturally compare their resilience to that of Puerto Rican men who were born and raised in Puerto Rico before migrating to the US mainland. This comparison is born of George's experience as a first-generation Kerali American and that of this reviewer as a first-generation Puerto Rican American.


Participant Observation, Cross-Cultural Comparison, Transnational Migration, Patriarchal Cultural Mores


Dr. Calderón received support from the DREW/UCLA Project EXPORT, NCMHD, P20MD000182.

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