Chapter 22: Reconsidering migration dynamics within diverse rural spaces
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More people are thought to migrate between rural areas than from rural to urban regions, so the need to understand dynamics of rural migration is clear. Rural migration is deeply affected by political and economic governance. The challenges in rural spaces are complex and multi-faceted: from gendered processes of migration control, to recruiters courting potential migrants in villages, to difficulty maintaining rural livelihoods, and labour market dynamics in rural workplaces. This chapter disputes the urban-rural false dichotomy constructed in migration policy and literature by illustrating how migrants navigate multiple spheres simultaneously. It also demonstrates how the categories of ‘economic migrant’ and ‘refugee’ break down in segmented rural labour markets where mobile people from many contexts seek work. Finally, the chapter identifies an urban-centred condescension towards rural populations, which both pivileges metropolitan concerns in the name of industrialisation and development, and reproduces dynamics of control between urban core and rural peripheral areas.

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