Struggling to Save Up Cash: Seasonal Migration and Vulnerability in West Bengal, India

Rogaly, Ben and Rafique, Abdur (2004) Struggling to Save Up Cash: Seasonal Migration and Vulnerability in West Bengal, India. In: Lont, Hotze B and Hospes, Otto (eds.) Livelihood and microfinance : anthropological and sociological perspectives on savings and debt. Eburon, Delft, pp. 105-128. ISBN 90-5972-016-4

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Abstract

This article concerns an important but overlooked means by which ablebodied poor people get hold of lump sums of cash in rural West Bengal:
seasonal migration for agricultural wage work. Drawing on a regional study
of four migration streams, our main focus here is on the struggle to secure this
cash by landless households in just one of those streams, originating in
Murshidabad District. Case studies are used to illustrate the importance for
women in nuclear families of maintaining supportive networks of kin for
periods when men are absent. A parallel analysis is made of the negotiations
between male migrant workers and their employers, at labour markets, during
the period of work, and afterwards. The article then briefly discusses some of
the contrasting ways in which remittances are used by landless households
and owners of very small plots of land, in the context of rapid ecological
change, demographic pressure and growing inequality.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Depositing User: Ben Rogaly
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:18
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2012 16:48
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/11589
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