Culture of Migration and Transformation in Gender Roles: Recent Trends in Rural Bangladesh.
Main Uddin (Tallinn University)
Ellen Bal (VU University Amsterdam)
Paper short abstract:
This paper is an ethnographic details of the culture of migration and the transformation of gender roles in a patriarchal Muslim society in rural Bangladesh. The study explores the continuity and changes in the discourse and practices of traditional gender roles in the village.
Paper long abstract:
This paper is an ethnographic account of the culture of migration and the transformation in patriarchal structure of a Muslim society in rural Bangladesh. In doing so, the study explores the continuity and changes in the discourse and practices of traditional gender roles of men and women of Rashidpur village in Munshiganj district, Bangladesh. It pays especial attention to local and global interconnections of the aspirant migrants and their household members, changes in their gender based mobility and their contribution to the changes in patriarchal ideology. The study is conducted from January to December, 2017, applying ethnographic method, which examines gender based career planning and the lived reality of the villagers. Especially, the study focuses on the determining factors, which shape the migration decision of men particularly, the grown up boys. Though the findings of the study indicate the diversity and multiplicity of rural life, women's career plans are, in many cases, submitted to the will of patriarchy to retain the honor of their men. On the other hand, men's career plans are fulfilled by the household members to ensure their bread winning. In such situation, many women change their ambition and want to be the wives of the migrants to enjoy freedom when husbands are abroad. Overall, migration aspiration and the linked activities of the villagers transform the local social structure as a whole. The study contextualizes structure and agency to understand how patriarchal structure influences individuals and how individuals play a role to transform the structure in exchange.
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