1st Edition

Gender, Migration and Social Transformation Intersectionality in Bolivian Itinerant Migrations

By Tanja Bastia Copyright 2019
    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    194 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Intersectionality can be used to analyse whether migration leads to changes in gender relations. This book finds out how migrants from a peri-urban neighbourhood on the outskirts of Cochabamba, Bolivia, make sense of the migration journeys they have undertaken.

    Migration is intrinsically related to social transformation. Through life stories and community surveys, the author explores how gender, class, and ethnicity intersect in people’s attempts to make the most of the opportunities presented to them in distant labour markets. While aiming to improve their economic and material conditions, migrants have created a new transnational community that has undergone significant changes in the ways in which gender relations are organised. Women went from being mainly housewives to taking on the role of the family’s breadwinner in a matter of just one decade.

    This book asks and addresses important questions such as: what does this mean for gender equality and women’s empowerment? Can we talk of migration being emancipatory? Does intersectionality shed light in the analysis of everyday social transformations in contexts of transnational migrations? This book will be useful to researchers and students of human geography, development studies and Latin America area studies.

    1. Introduction

    2. Gender, Migration and Social Transformation

    3. Origins

    4. Mobility and Social Networks

    5. Work

    6. Care

    7. Intimacy

    8. Conclusion


    Tanja Bastia is a Senior Lecturer at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester, UK.

    "Bastia provides an invaluable contribution to the gender and migration literature by combining a transnational multi-scalar south-south perspective on migration with a nuanced reading of the intersectionality of gender, class, and ethnicity. By tracing Bolivian migrants’ personal networks across borders and continents, this book fruitfully expands queries about the relationships between gender and structures of unequal power. Gender, Migration and Social Transformation is a significant addition to our understanding of the complex diversity and fluidity of "transnational communities," migrant neighborhoods and urban citizenship in the face of ongoing economic and political restructuring."

    - Nina Glick Schiller, Senior Research Associate at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany

    "This is a compelling account of social transformation and the nature of gendered migrations in Bolivia. Drawing on extensive and valuable ethnographic fieldwork over a period of over two decades and spanning continents, this volume offers a rich understanding of how gender, class and ethnicity intersect in shifting contexts to produce migration. Organised around key thematics like care, intimacy and work Bastia draws us into the lives of her participants with rare empirical acuity and analytical insight. The book is a wonderful read!"

    - Parvati Raghuram, Professor of Geography and Migration at the Open University, United Kingdom

    "Bastia’s book begins with a classic inquiry of how gender is renegotiated through migration, but several key innovations—bringing a transnational and intersectional lens, and comparing South to South migration with a South to North migration flow from the same point of origin in Bolivia—complicate the answer. With multi-sited ethnography conducted in Bolivia, Argentina and Spain, the author concludes that gender inequality remains constant, while modest class mobility is the primary transformation. An important contribution to the study of diverse Latin American transnational migrations."

    - Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Florence Everline Professor of Sociology, University of Southern California, USA