Marriage, Migration and Gender brings a gender-sensitive and comparative perspective to bear on Asian peoples` migration experiences, both within and across national borders. It seeks to examine how the institution of marriage may affect or enable women`s and men`s migration, as well as the impact of migration, state laws and immigration procedures on the marriage, family and kinship networks of Asian migrants.
Migration and marriage strategies are discussed through detailed case studies, whether of Filipina (allegedly `mail-order`) brides, transnational Tamil Brahmins, Pakistani grooms in the UK, or Malayali women in Italy, illustrating how marriage
migration reflects individual as well as family aspirations for spatial and social mobility. The fluid boundaries between matchmaking and trafficking, as of Bangladeshi or Chinese migrant women, and the political economy of marriage transactions among a range of `economic` migrants—from the Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and other parts of India—are drawn out. The chapters question conventional dichotomous constructions of emotional versus material considerations in the choice of marriage partner. The implications of migration for conjugal and inter-generational relations, including the increasing distance between natal and marital homes, the intensification of pre-existing socio-cultural faultlines, shifts in culturally normative familial and work roles and the transformation of familial relations have also been addressed.
The chapters in the volume highlight the varied forms of women`s agency in marriage and migration strategies. These range from passive to active resistance and the ability to work for change in normative structures. Simultaneously, attention is drawn to the constraints on and opportunities for women`s and men`s exercise of agency, including politico-economic processes, historical and symbolic determinations, cultural constructs, and the social embeddedness of personhood.
The contributors are from a variety of disciplines, mostly sociology and social anthropology. Several of them have been activists on the issues that they write about. The volume will be of interest to sociologists, social anthropologists, scholars interested in migration, gender and labour studies, as well as social workers and activists.