The Open UniversitySkip to content

Gendering international student migration: an Indian case-study

Sondhi, Gunjan and King, Russell (2017). Gendering international student migration: an Indian case-study. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43(8) pp. 1308–1324.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (449kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Despite the mainstreaming of gender perspectives into migration research, very few attempts have been made to gender international student migration. This paper poses three questions about Indian students who study abroad. Are there gender differences in their motivations? How do they negotiate their gendered everyday lives when abroad? Is the return to India shaped by gender relations? An online survey of Indian study-abroad students (n = 157), and in-depth interviews with Indian students in Toronto (n = 22), returned students in New Delhi (n = 21), and with parents of students abroad (n = 22) help to provide answers. Conceptually, the paper draws on a ‘gendered geographies of power’ framework and on student migration as an embodied process subject to ‘matrices of (un)intelligibility’. We find minimal gender-related differences in motivations to study abroad, except that male students are drawn from a wider social background. However, whilst abroad, both male and female Indian students face challenges in performing their gendered identities. The Indian patrifocal family puts greater pressure on males to return; females face greater challenges upon return.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 Informa UK Limited
ISSN: 1469-9451
Keywords: International student migration; Indian students abroad; gendered geographies of power; embodiment, performativity, return migration
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 49406
Depositing User: Gunjan Sondhi
Date Deposited: 19 May 2017 10:39
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2019 08:19
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU