Gender, transnational migration and cultural interactions

Gender, transnational migration and cultural interactions in Thailand

This research engages critically with existing literature on transnational migration by focussing on the gendered underpinnings of flows and connections that constitute the lived experiences of transnational migrants living in Thailand. A gender approach on transnationalism will shed light on the power hierarchies underpinning transnational mobilities. The research agenda of this project studies the intersections of gender, multiculturalism and cultural interactions between Westerners and Thais that result from transnational migrations. In particular, it will address the following research questions:

  •  How does gender shape transnational migrations to Thailand and cultural relations between migrants and locals in Thailand?
  • How do gender relations transform through transnational mobilities?
  • How are representations of femininity and masculinity reproduced in pre- and post-migration imaginaries?

The proposed research agenda has the potential to produce cutting-edge, innovative research. First, it will add to scholarly understandings of how transnational mobilities shape gender relations and of how people engage in transnational mobilities depending on their gender, class and ethnicity (see Yeoh and Ramdas 2014). Second, it will challenge the existing ethnocentric biases in the research that has mainly focused on migration in the North American context (see Bash et al 1994; Levitt 2011; Waldinger 2015).

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Dr Sarah Scuzzarello has conducted pilot interviews for this project and has recently secured a Harry Kroto Fellowship to assess the possibilities to develop it into a large scale project.

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