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Rural–urban migration, economic transition, and status of female industrial workers in Lao PDR
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography. National University of Laos (NUOL), Vientiane, Lao PDR.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2011 (English)In: Population, Space and Place, ISSN 1544-8444, E-ISSN 1544-8452, Vol. 17, no 5, 421-434 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Economic and political changes in formerly socialist economies affect migration patterns and gender relations in complex ways. The consequences of transition from planned to market economies for men and women, respectively, are manifested both in gendered migration patterns and gendered urban labour markets, where young migrant women now constitute an important part of the ‘globalised’ industrial working class of Southeast Asian cities. This paper analyses female rural–urban migration to industrial work in Lao PDR, one of Southeast Asia’s smallest transition economies. Since the implementation of the New Economic Mechanism in Lao PDR in 1986, a process of feminisation of rural–urban migration has started and female employment in industries in Vientiane Capital increased. The paper highlights some of the consequences of economic transition for female rural–urban migrants, focusing on changing gender roles and women’s status as industrial workers, both inside and outside factory gates.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Vol. 17, no 5, 421-434 p.
Keyword [en]
migration, industrial work, transition economies, urbanisation, female workers, Vientiane Lao PDR
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37357DOI: 10.1002/psp.620ISI: 000300098600003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-37357DiVA: diva2:359513
Available from: 2010-10-28 Created: 2010-10-28 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Patterns of migration and socio-economic change in Lao PDR
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Patterns of migration and socio-economic change in Lao PDR
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the thesis is to investigate patterns and consequences of internal and international migration in Laos during the period 1985-2005 on both a macro-and a

micro-level. The thesis focuses on the influences of socio-economic change and government policies on inter-regional and rural-urban migration as well as on crossborder migration from Laos to Thailand. The study also examines the effects of migration and industrial factory work on gender relations during economic transition and consequences of undocumented migration to Thailand. The background consists of a discussion on socio-economic change within the country and on government policies influencing migration patterns, as well as on how socio-economic change, urbanization and industrialization in the region affect internal and international migration in Laos.

The thesis consists of three empirical studies which derive from different sources of data; the first is based on Population Censuses in 1995 and 2005 and the second and the third draw from empirical surveys in 2004-2005 and 2006. Paper I focuses on how socioeconomic factors and government policies influence migration patterns in Laos. The paper found that the interregional migration rate decreased in the later census period. This was due to significantly higher rural-rural migration in the earlier period, which in turn was influenced by various types of government policies. Papers II and III are based on micro surveys; paper II focuses on an urban industrial area in Vientiane Capital and explores the current feminization of rural-urban migrations during economic transition with specific focus on the effects of industrial work on gender roles and status of women as industrial workers. Industrial work was seen by the women as temporary jobs for saving money, for sending remittances, and for either returning home or moving to other jobs in Vientiane or Thailand. Paper III is based on surveys in three provinces, and deals with undocumented migration from Laos to Thailand and its consequences. Different income levels, existing social networks, similar language and socio-cultural backgrounds were determinants of cross-border migrations. The study found that migrants who had contacts with informal brokers were highly exposed to risks of human trafficking and violence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Kulturgeografiska Institutionen, Umeå universitet, 2010. 104 p.
Series
GERUM, ISSN 1402-5205 ; 2010:3
Keyword
Migration, Socio-eceonomic change, feminization, urban industrial work, migrant workers, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37321 (URN)978-91-978344-4-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-11-19, Samhällsvetarhuset Hörsal C, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 19:11 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-10-29 Created: 2010-10-27 Last updated: 2010-10-29Bibliographically approved

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