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Traansnational Migration and the Politics of Identity (Volume 1)

Meenakshi Thapan (Editor)
Synopsis Transnationalism can be defined as a social process whereby migrants operate in social fields that transgress geographic, political and cultural borders. As a conceptual tool, it offers an alternative framework to the earlier assimilation model and has transformed our understanding of the process of incorporation of the immigrant. It allows us to view the immigrant as one who straddles two world, the past and the present, through the attachment and commitment to two or more nations at the same time. This volume focuses on Asian women`s experience of immigration and the impact this has on their identity in the context of transnational migration. It highlights the gendered dimension of migration, the differential experience of men and women, and the consequences of this for women. It also examines the complexities that women encounter in the process of migration, emphasizing both the constraints that women experience, and the strategies they deploy in making life in the new country more bearable. The contributors highlight the fact that migration does not imply a break from the past for women. Instead, the traditional patriarchal norms are carried intact from the home country, expressed in terms of rituals, values, relationship and family ties. At the same time, the migrant woman is constrained by the structures, regulatory regimes and practices of the host country. In short, migrant women inhabit two contrasting worlds simultaneously. In exploring these issues, the volume draws attention to the fluid nature of a migrant woman`s identity while also pointing out that this fluidity and her identity are regulated to a certain extent by the state and various social institutions. Moreover, it examines the manner in which she negotiates with these larger institutions and structures—such as the state, employers, the community and welfare institutions—and how these engagements help in defining and restructuring her identity in different ways. Overall, this book is a welcome effort to address the complexities of identity in the transnational context of Asian women’s migration, a hitherto unexplored dimension of women’s migration. It will be of considerable interest to students and scholars of sociology, women’s studies, migration studies and NGOs.
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About the author

Meenakshi Thapan

Meenakshi Thapan is Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. She was earlier a Professor at the Department of Education, University of Delhi (1989-2002) and a Fellow of the Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (1993-95). Professor Thapan was elected the first C.R. Parekh Visiting Fellow at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University (1998) and was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Sociology, University of Chicago (1995). she has previously published Life at School: An Ethnographic Study and has edited Embodiment: Essays on Gender and Identity and Anthropological Journeys: Reflections of Fieldwork. She has also contributed essays to edited volumes and published research articles in professional journals in India and abroad.

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Bibliographic information

Title Traansnational Migration and the Politics of Identity (Volume 1)
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0761934243
length 320p., Notes; References; Index; 22cm.