Who goes? Who stays back? Seasonal migration and staying put among rural manual workers in Eastern India

Rogaly, Ben (2003) Who goes? Who stays back? Seasonal migration and staying put among rural manual workers in Eastern India. Journal of International Development, 15 (5). pp. 623-632. ISSN 0954-1748

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Abstract

In Barddhaman District, West Bengal, India, large numbers of rice transplanters and harvesters are seasonal migrant workers, who are unable to make a living in their home areas. They often come from households where other members have stayed put. This paper illustrates the interdependence between those who move and those who stay. It also shows that structural factors, such as age, gender, class and ethnicity, though important, do not determine who migrates or who stays put in a particular season. Indeed, the paper raises questions about the very categories ‘migrant’ and ‘person who stays put’ in relation to seasonal migration. This is because such migration inevitably involves doing both; and because for some of those who move and stay for longer, lifeworlds are ‘stretched’ between places. Moreover, whether a person stays put or migrates varies over the life course. Ironically, perhaps, migration for arduous manual work away from home can be part of a struggle to be able to afford to stay put.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G0001 Geography (General)
Depositing User: Ben Rogaly
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:21
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2012 15:56
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/11881
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