Social Remittance Acquisition and Gender Ideologies Among Sudanese Migrants in Glasgow

Hassan, Jamila Elhag (2022). Social Remittance Acquisition and Gender Ideologies Among Sudanese Migrants in Glasgow. PhD thesis The Open University.



Though the interlink between migration and development is well-established, migrants’ remittances-acquirement experience, particularly social remittances, is relatively overlooked. This study explores immigrants’ experience in acquiring social remittances. It utilises Sen’s Capability Approach to explore whether and how migration impacts progress towards achieving gender equality among Sudanese in Glasgow. The analysis is based on the idea that migration can improve migrants’ financial and intellectual resources that may alter the power relationship between men and women within the household. This change may lead to more gender-equal relationships. The study explores respondents’ experience in two domains with high potential to provide financial and intellectual resources: the labour-market and social interaction. It also considers respondents’ transnational activities (remittances) and their potential to influence respondents’ gender norms. Then the thesis explores whether the change in resources there are changes in respondents’’ gender norms since they arrived in Glasgow by examining changes in sharing three parameters at the household level: authority (head of household and decision-making), labour (provider/ homemaker) and financial resource (control over resources).

The research adopts a qualitative approach to gain an insight into immigrants’ experiences. The findings challenge the literature that asserts migration to more gender-equal settings improves immigrants’ gender norms; and provide a better understanding of the contradicting outcomes of other literature. It demonstrates that the acquisition of social remittances is a complex process involving various structural and individual factors. Interaction of these factors differentiates women’s and men’s access to resources and produced little observable change in respondents’ gender relations, while their gender ideologies strongly resist change. The study shows that respondents’ gender ideology and that at the transnational level have essential impacts on maintaining the respondents’ gender norms. Hence, it views gender ideologies as vital in successful policy and/or development interventions.

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