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From “Country Bumpkins” to “Tough Workers”: The Pursuit of Masculinity Among Male Factory Workers in China


Kim, Jaesok. 2015. "From “Country Bumpkins” to “Tough Workers”: The Pursuit of Masculinity Among Male Factory Workers in China." Anthropological Quarterly 88 (1): 133-161.

Author: Jaesok Kim


This article explores the formation of a new industrial underclass in post- Mao China, focusing on a group of young male workers' gendered interpretation of their subjection to an exploitative factory regime. I examine the experiential and performative dimensions of this subjection, which are intricately linked to China's insertion into the global capitalist economy. The transformation of China into the "world's factory" depended on the dramatic increase of foreign direct investment and the rapid expansion of labor-intensive, low-skilled factory jobs that favored the labor of rural migrant women. While the "feminization of production labor" generated some positive outcomes among the women workers, it turned a group of unskilled young male migrants into an industrial underclass. These men assumed menial jobs that drained their physical strength while offering virtually no chance of promotion or improvement in their future lives. Male workers reacted to the exploitative factory regime by engaging in binge drinking and extreme forms of anti-social behavior. This case study shows how class solidarity is sometimes deflected into the domain of gender conflict.

Keywords: labor, gender, masculinity, multinational corporation, China, garment industry, globalization

Topics: Class, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Globalization, Livelihoods, Multi-national Corporations, Political Economies Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2015

The Invisibility of Skilled Female Migrants and Gender Relations in Studies of Skilled Migration in Europe


Kofman, Eleonore. 2000. “The Invisibility of Skilled Female Migrants and Gender Relations in Studies of Skilled Migration in Europe.” International Journal of Population Geography 6 (1): 45–59.

Author: Eleonore Kofman


This paper examines the reasons for the invisibility of skilled female migrants in studies of skilled migration in Europe. The choice of research agendas has played a major part in rendering women invisible. The emphasis has generally been on transnational corporations, which, especially in their higher ranks, remain resolutely male-dominated. The presence of migrants in welfare sectors (i.e. education, health and social services), which are strongly feminised, has been ignored. Feminist research has also tended to obscure the role of skilled migrants in its emphasis on the unskilled. Theoretical and methodological developments in studies of migration have also made few inroads into our understanding of skilled migration.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Education, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Multi-national Corporations Regions: Europe

Year: 2000

Gender and International Migration: Globalization, Development, and Governance


Benería, Lourdes, Carmen Diana Deere, and Naila Kabeer. 2012. “Gender and International Migration: Globalization, Development, and Governance.” Feminist Economics 18 (2): 1–33.

Authors: Lourdes Beneria, Carmen Diana Deere, Naila Kabeer


This contribution examines the connections between gender and international migration around three themes: globalization, national economic development, and governance. First, it discusses the connections between globalization and the multiplicity of processes that have contributed to international migration and its feminization, arguing that gender awareness is crucial to understanding these processes. Gender analysis makes visible the increasing commodification of care work on a global scale and highlights how the organization of families is changing. Second, it analyzes the various avenues through which migration may contribute to or hinder economic development, highlighting why remittances, in particular by women, have featured very positively in the migration and development policy discourse. Third, it discusses how issues of citizenship affect the migrant population, showing how gender analysis highlights many challenges with regard to nation-based notions of citizenship, particularly in the receiving countries.

Keywords: gender, international migration, globalization, development, governance

Topics: Citizenship, Development, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Globalization, Governance, Households

Year: 2012

Negotiating between Patriarchy and Emancipation: Rural-to-Urban Migrant Women in Albania


Çaro, Erka, Ajay Bailey, and Leo van Wissen. 2012. “Negotiating between Patriarchy and Emancipation: Rural-to-Urban Migrant Women in Albania.” Gender, Place & Culture 19 (4): 472–93. doi: 10.1080/0966369X.2011.610096.

Authors: Erka Caro, Ajay Bailey, Leo van Wissen


It is essential to explore the role of gender while analysing internal migration in Albania to account for the differing experiences of men and women. Quantitative studies suggest that Albanian internal migration is pioneered by men, with women merely acceding to their wishes. This article addresses the undervalued role of women in the academic discourse concerning migration in Albania. Utilizing ethnographic research techniques, it explores the role of women migrating from rural to urban areas as part of a larger household and examines the coping and negotiating strategies used for survival in the city. Our findings reveal that women actively participate in the rural-to-urban migration process, including the initial decision to migrate and the choice of destination. Women's narratives provide evidence of specific emancipation strategies through which they express themselves and their new ways of living. Women adjust to and challenge their new urban environment through gaining paid employment and expanding their social networks, as well as experience emancipation through daughters and by changing their appearance, achieving varying degrees of personal and social prosperity.

Keywords: emancipation, women, migration, rural-to-urban, Albania


Quotes and Notes:

According to Hugo (2000), when women move from rural to urban areas there is an increased potential for empowerment, as they are often separated from the extended family and can engage in paid employment outside the home. As a result of migration, women thus experience an increase in ‘autonomy, self confidence and agency’ (Ghosh 2009, 36). The benefits of migration can, however, vary for migrant women depending on their motivations, expectations, educational level, background characteristics, social status and the presence or otherwise of their husband in the household.” (473) 

Many societies, especially patriarchal ones, function according to social and cultural norms that determine the level of women’s participation in the migration process and the nature of gender relationships in the new settings (Ghosh 2009). To understand the social position of women in Albania and whether migration can influence this, it is essential to recognize that gender and migration are embedded in historical, regional and cultural settings, and that gender relationships in Albania are steeped in a strong patriarchal tradition.” (474)

Research Questions/Main Ideas:

“In this article, we argue that while international migration is determined by men, internal migration is often initiated by women and then conceived as a family project.” (473)

“Focusing on mothers and daughters within the context of emerging urbanization, this research aims to (1) explore the role of women in the migration process, (2) detail their emancipation strategies following migration and (3) compare the strategies and experiences of mothers and daughters.” (473)

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households Regions: Europe, Baltic states, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Albania

Year: 2012

Effects in Post-Conflict West Africa of Teacher Training for Refugee Women


Shepler, Susan, and Sharyn Routh. 2012. “Effects in Post-Conflict West Africa of Teacher Training for Refugee Women.” Gender & Education 24 (4): 429–41. doi:10.1080/09540253.2012.674493.

Authors: Susan Shepler, Sharyn Routh


This article draws data from an innovative research project tracing former refugee teachers who received teacher training from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) over a 17-year-long education programme in refugee camps in Guinea (1991–2008). The research traced repatriated refugee teachers who had returned to their homes in Sierra Leone and Liberia in an effort to determine the effects of the training they received – particularly whether they were still working as teachers in their post-repatriation lives, or whether they had made use of their training in other ways. Although the research in question focused on all of the former IRC teachers who the research team could trace, the present paper is about the female teachers and their specific situations. Focusing on the women’s responses yields the gender-specific conclusions about structural barriers to institutional and societal changes in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Keywords: refugee, teacher, education, africa, gender

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Education, Gender, Women, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone

Year: 2012

Talking About Feminism in Africa


Salo, Elaine, and Amina Mama. 2001. "Talking About Feminism in Africa."  Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity 16 (50): 58-63.

Authors: Elaine Salo, Amina Mama


Elaine Salo speaks to Professor Amina Mama, one of Africa's leading contemporary feminist activist scholars whose critical contribution to African feminism is drawn from her work across the academic-activist divide.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Economies, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Globalization, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Political Economies, Political Participation Regions: Africa

Year: 2001

Power, Patriarchy, and Gender Conflict in the Vietnamese Immigrant Community


Kibria, Nazli. 1990. “Power, Patriarchy, and Gender Conflict in the Vietnamese Immigrant Community.” Gender and Society 4 (1): 9-24.

Author: Nazli Kibria


Based on an ethnographic study of women's social groups and networks in a community of Vietnamese immigrants recently settled in the US, this article explores the effects of migration on gender roles and power. The women's groups and networks play an important role in the exchange of social and economic resources among households and in the mediation of disputes between men and women in the family. These community forms are an important source of informal power for women, enabling them to cope effectively with male authority in the family. Yet, despite their increased power and economic resources, these women supported a patriarchal social structure because it preserved their parental authority and promised greater economic security in the future.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: United States of America, Vietnam

Year: 1990

Trafficking in Humans Social, Cultural and Political Dimensions


Cameron, Sally, and Edward Newman. 2008. Trafficking in Humans Social, Cultural and Political Dimensions. New York: United Nations University Press. 

Authors: Sally Cameron, Edward Newman


Brings social, economic and political elements to the policy discussion as well as strategic interventions regarding the fight against "trafficking" (the recruitment and transportation of human beings through deception and coercion for the purposes of exploitation). Trafficking, generally, occurs from poorer to more prosperous countries and regions; however, it is not necessarily the poorest regions or communities which are most vulnerable to trafficking, and so this volume seeks to identify the factors which explain where and why vulnerability increases. –Publisher's description.

“[This] volume examines the proposition that in this era of globalization, liberal economic forces have resulted in the erosion of state capacity and a weakening of the provision of public goods…A certain alignment of factors may be key to understanding trafficking. The principle focus of this volume is to understand the distinction and dialectical interaction between structural and proximate factors.”


Table of Contents:

1. Introduction: Understanding human trafficking/Edward Newman and Sally Cameron

Part I: Themes:

2. Trafficking in humans: Structural factors/Sally Cameron and Edward Newman
3. Globalization and national sovereignty: From migration to trafficking/ Kinsey Alden Dinan
4. Trafficking of women for prostitution/Sally Cameron
5. Migrant women and the legal politics of anti-trafficking interventions/Ratna Kapur
6. Trafficking in women: The role of transnational organized crime/Phil Williams

Part II: Regional experiences

7. The fight against trafficking in human beings from the European perspective/Helga Konrad
8. Human trafficking in East and South-East Asia: Searching for structural factors/Maruja M. B. Asis
9. Human trafficking in Latin America in the context of international migration/Gabriela Rodríguez Pizarro
10. Human trafficking in South Asia: A focus on Nepal/Renu Rajbhandari
11. Trafficking in persons in the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia: New challenges for transitional democracies/Gulnara Shahinian


Recognize that trafficking is gendered

Gender analysis offers increased possibilities to understand the specifics of why certain women are trafficked into certain regions/industries and develop appropriate (often long-term) responses. As a starting point, women are being trafficked from states offering them limited opportunities outside the hard toil and drudgery of the home, the farm and unregulated markets. “Rescuing” women and sending them home does not affect that, and thus will not alter the principal push factors which make women vulnerable to trafficking. At the same time, there is a failure to understand and acknowledge fully the trafficking of men. While there is some writing about men working in exploitative, indentured or slave-like conditions, much of this has not been contextualized within a trafficking framework. Similarly, there must be greater recognition that children are trafficked. For too long the popular image of trafficking victims – young women coerced into prostitution – has influenced policy responses, but this is only a part of the reality.” (16)

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Refugees, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Americas, Central America, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Balkans, South Caucasus Countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Nepal

Year: 2008

Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings: The Phenonmenon, the Markets That Drive It and the Organizations That Promote It


Aronowitz, Alexis. 2001. “Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings: The Phenonmenon, the Markets That Drive It and the Organizations That Promote It.” European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 9: 163–95.

Author: Alexis Aronowitz


This article will define the concepts of smuggling and trafficking in human beings and discuss the difficulty in applying the definition. The magnitude and scope of the problem will be examined as well as its causes. Trafficking in human beings will be analysed as an illegal market, particularly with reference to its relationship with other illegal markets and the involvement of organised crime groups. The phenomenon will be discussed in more depth focusing on countries and regions where projects are currently being implemented under the auspices of the United Nations Global Programme against Trafficking in Human Beings. The discussion closes with an overview of situations which facilitate the practice, and current measures and recommendations to stem the tide of smuggling and trafficking.

Keywords: criminal organizations, illegal markets, migration, smuggling, Trafficking

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Girls, Livelihoods, Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking

Year: 2001

Unies pour le meilleur et pour le pire. Femmes africaines et villes coloniales: une histoire du métissage


Gondola, Ch. Didier. 1997. “Unies pour le meilleur et pour le pire. Femmes africaines et villes coloniales: une histoire du métissage”. Clio. Histoire, femmes et sociétés, 6, en ligne. DOI: 10.4000/clio.377

English: Gondola, Ch. Didier. 1997. “United for the best and the worst. African Women and Colonial cities: history of mixed cultures.” Clio. History, women and societies, 6, online. DOI: 10.4000/clio.377

Author: Ch. Didier Gondola


Une histoire méconnue? Celle des femmes africaines, celle de la ville coloniale, ou plutôt celle du métissage qui a présidé à la rencontre des femmes et des cultures urbaines. Une histoire que l'on ne comprend qu'en prenant la mesure du rôle phare des cultures populaires que les femmes ont investi dès que les lois coloniales leur permirent le droit de cité à Kinshasa, à l'origine un campement pour travailleurs célibataires que l'arrivée des femmes a transformé en espace social métis. Les femmes ont fait la ville (coloniale), façonné de nouveaux styles de vie et permis aux citadins africains de prendre en charge, via la musique, la fête, le mouvement associatif, le petit commerce, un domaine qui avait été conçu par les autorités coloniales comme un laboratoire et un instrument de contrôle social, et aussi politique.

English Abstract:

Widely over looked? underinvestigated? Treated separately, the history of colonial Kinshasa and that of African women have been thoroughly researched. We are hard pressed to find these two histories intertwined, however. The history of both colonial Kinshasa and African women can only be fully understood by referring to the critical role of popular cultures invested by women, when colonial laws permitted them to reside in the city. Due to the migration of women Kinshasa was transformed into a unique social milieu. Women revamped the city and created new lifestyles. They helped African city-dwellers reclaim the usage of the urban milieu via popular music, festive culture, associative movement, and petty trade in order to undermine the social and political control exercised by colonial authorities.

Topics: Civil Society, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Women Regions: Africa

Year: 1997


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