“Why Is She Smiling?”: Circular Migration and Women’s Empowerment in Rural Rajasthan, India
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Migration is indispensable for many families in the poorest sections of rural India. In Rajasthan, migration is largely pursued by men, while women maintain the home in the village. Based on my ethnographic research in rural villages in Udaipur District, Rajasthan, my thesis explores life in rural villages and particularly the experiences of women whose husbands migrate for work. My initial research questions included: What changes does migration bring? What stays the same? What does it mean for women to be left behind by migration? Do the social freedoms of women differ while their husbands are away? Contrary to what I initially expected, the absence of men does not produce many freedoms for women. The patriarchy in India is not attached to the male migrant and able to travel with him. In this paper, I argue that by conceptualizing migration through movement alone, we are doing a huge disservice to the people and places that are immobile, yet are deeply influenced by the movement of other people and ideas.
CitationDaniels, Nicole (2014). “Why Is She Smiling?”: Circular Migration and Women’s Empowerment in Rural Rajasthan, India. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8603.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers