Stigmatized Spaces: Gender and Mobility under Crisis in South Sulawesi, Indonesia


Silvey, Rachel M. 2000a. “Stigmatized Spaces: Gender and Mobility under Crisis in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.” Gender, Place & Culture 7 (2): 143–61. 

Author: Rachel M. Silvey


This article considers the gender dynamics of a migrant population living in an industrial processing zone on the outskirts of Ujung Pandang, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Based on historical, demographic, and ethnographic analyses of migration linked to this site, the research focuses on the ways that the relationships between morality, migration, and gender are changing for migrants to this zone. As more young women have migrated to join this peri-urban industrial workforce, their presence has spurred a renegotiation of gendered morality, particularly in terms of gendered meanings of inhabiting “public” space and participating in the industrial labor force. These migrants form their gender identities not only through place-bound contact with people in origin and destination sites, but also through contact with the sociocultural norms of migrants from other parts of the archipelago and world, transnational industrial and media expansion, and continued reference to their families' “Bugis values.” Recent research has analyzed the growth of the new female industrial workforce in relation to postmodern production relations and new patterns of consumption. In this article, I build on these studies to explore the ways migrants' cultural struggles around gender are shaped not only by new production relations and consumer aspirations, but also by the interethnic interactions of low-income migrants themselves living in the zone. The tensions that characterize these negotiations mark a historical shift in the gendered meaning of “the local” in the Bugis diaspora.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Women Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2000

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at