Universität Bonn

Abteilung für Südasienstudien

Negotiating Identities beyond Disaster and Resilience among Migrants from the Sundarbans, India

Research conducted by Sourina Bej

The decision, route and choice to migrate are integral to a labour migrant’s livelihood security. As one migrates, their multiple group identities along with their employment aspirations play a key role in determining social mobility. It is particularly significant in India, where belonging to a certain group identity (such as ethnolinguistic and religious identities, and affiliations related to local backgrounds: kinship, caste, rituals) not only affects social upward mobility but also determines attitudes favouring social exclusion. The decision to migrate, thus, becomes complex when labour migrants from already marginalised groups navigate their group identities for survival and integration in urban cities of India. This thesis will focus on the patterns of rural to urban labour migration from the disaster prone and critically (ecologically) endangered Sunderbans delta in India. By looking through the lens of vulnerability and resilience at the process of migration by marginalised people, the doctoral study will address the following questions: what situations compel one to migrate? Are they related to environmental factors? And are choices to permanently migrate prone to emerge among highly marginalised people? The aim is to identify cases/lives of labour migrants whose migration from Sunderbans delta to cities could help understand apparent patterns of group identity negotiations—at home and in host societies. In doing so, the study will additionally question whether networks used to migrate and even the choice of work could be grounds for further group identity formations, eventually reshaping social mobility.

Wird geladen