Journal of Population Research

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 337–355

Negotiated identities: Male migration and left-behind wives in India


DOI: 10.1007/BF03033894

Cite this article as:
Desai, S. & Banerji, M. Journal of Population Research (2008) 25: 337. doi:10.1007/BF03033894


This paper examines the impact of husbands’ migration on the lives of women left behind. Using data from the India Human Development Survey 2005, we focus on two dimensions of women’s lives: women’s autonomy and control over their lives; and women’s labour force participation. Results suggest that household structure forms the key mediating factor through which husbands’ absence affects women. Women not residing in extended families are faced with both higher levels of responsibilities and greater autonomy, while women who live in extended households do not experience these demands or benefits.


migrationIndiagenderfamily structureIHDSinternal migrationconsequences of migrationwomens labour force participationwomens autonomywomens mobilityintra-household decisions

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUnited States of America