"Rural-urban divide or continuum?" : on the consequences of female labour migration to Bangkok for rural-urban interactions in an age of globalisation
- Department of Geography, University of Cologne, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, 50923 Cologne, Germany
Abstract. On the national level of rural-urban interactions in Thailand economic globalisation produces spatial, sectoral and sexual disparities which trigger female labour migration from the periphery to industrial employment in Bangkok and its vicinity. In geographical terms these dynamics establish an economic System (or continuum) between the periphery and the mega-city. On the individual level migrants negotiate shifting identities and social relations. Literally the «traditional daughter» meets the «modern woman». As a result, each migrant produces a distinct pattern of Bangkokperiphery interactions. «Traditional daughters» usually envisage relurn migration and thus maintain vivid rural-urban relations. «Modern women» may cut off the link with the rural in the long run, influenced by marriage, generation differences, and socio-economic crises, such as that of 1997/1998. Most typically, «translocal migrants» view Bangkok as their place of work and Status accumulation yet remain socio-culturally committed to the rural environment. With traditional Thai pragmatism they manage not to feel torn and ultimately shape continuous rural-urban relations. Thus, «in-between» categories increasingly replace stereotypes of «the global» and «the local», «the rural-traditional » and «the urban-modern».