Diasporas and Divergent Development in Kerala and Punjab

Querying the Migration-Development Discourse
Chapter

Abstract

Understanding the economic development of many nations in the Global South can no longer be comprehensively charted without a focus on international labour migration and its associated socio-economic and spatial transformations. Interest in this issue has emerged in the range of work exploring transnational migration, yet the spatiality of transnational practices has tended to be overlooked in much of this literature, which has tended to focus more intently on social practices to the neglect of related spatial transformations. In this paper, I explore and contrast outmigration from two Indian states in order to identify the differences and similarities that emerge. In particular, I emphasise the way in which migration and the role of non-resident Indians (NRIs) articulates with pre-existing local socio-spatial distinctions and networks of social closure. The migrant figure embodies a powerful influence that introduces new expectations and consumption patterns into the sending region, and this process occurs both in Kerala and Punjab, two Indian states with long and active histories of outmigration. Changes wrought by the migrant need to be understood as the outcome of specific sets of locally grounded relations, but also as the product of the pressures of global, regional and national discourses of modernity, development and neo-liberal consumerism.

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© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wilfrid Laurier UniversityOntarioCanada

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