Women and migration in Asia – eroding borders, new fixities

Raghuram, Parvati and Piper, Nicola (2011). Women and migration in Asia – eroding borders, new fixities. In: Wastl-Walter, Doris ed. The Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 529–548.

URL: http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calcT...


In this chapter, we explore some aspects of these border crossings as they relate to the political, economic and social nature of borders. We suggest that migration studies that focus on women could explore the diverse and dynamic nature of borders as they are construed in the lives of migrant women. We use Asia as a specific example towards this purpose. It is important to state at the outset that this chapter does not provide a comprehensive review of the literature on borders as they relate to migrant women in Asia. Rather, we look at how borders manifest themselves in the lives of migrant women displacing some women, and conditioning experiences of both immigration and emigration for others. We thus move away from the tendency to see borders as pre-ordained or natural, as in so much of the policy-oriented literature on women and migration. In the section following this introduction, we provide a brief overview of dominant paradigms that emerge from the literature on women’s economic migration before moving on to explore how borders are being constructed and negotiated in border zones, in source countries and in destination countries. It is also worth iterating here that our discussion of Asia mostly refers to East, South and Southeast Asia as well as migrants from these areas who are in other parts of the world . Although there is a significant amount of migration in the newly independent post-soviet countries of Central Asia, their proximity to Eastern Europe and their historical links with that region has meant that they are perhaps best considered separately.

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