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Migration, mobility and changing power relations: aspirations and praxis of Bangladeshi migrants

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This article, based on empirical research in two villages in Bangladesh, examines the ways in which migration is not a mere response to poverty and family survival, but becomes an instrument to interrogate the power of the traditional elite and contribute to social and status mobility in the local context. By focusing on four key inter-related dimensions of place, work, consumption and marriage, and on the hierarchies embedded within different migrant destinations, it points to the ways in which migration strategies are related to mobility strategies, and contributes to refiguring class and gender identities. Religion and the construction of a modern Islamic identity, bearing simultaneously elements of materiality and spirituality, serve as a crucial mediating force in this process, bridging the gap between aspirations and praxis.
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Keywords: Bangladesh; estatus; gender; género; identidad; identity; migración; migration; mobility; movilidad; status

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of International Development, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK

Publication date: August 9, 2014

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