Marriage Migration, Single Men, and Social Reproduction in Migrants' Communities of Origin in Vietnam
Author: Daniele Bélanger
This article analyses the repercussions of marriage migration for Vietnamese communities of origin in two ways. Firstly, it argues that a life-course perspective and the concept of “care circulation” expand understandings of the implications of marriage migration for reproduction and care in countries of origin. Secondly, it documents how marriage migration unsettles reproduction and care patterns primarily because sending communities face difficulties in marrying their own sons to village women. The article is based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork conducted in 2012 in two regions of Vietnam particularly affected by international marriage migration and is informed by other projects conducted since the mid-2000s. Results suggest that migration among young women who migrate without the intention of return bears a different significance for gender and development than migration among women who have moved further along in their life course. Marriage migration in Vietnam takes place at a critical juncture of the life course when gender power relations may be reconfigured in the country of origin. A focus on men and their families in migrants’ communities of origin provides new insight. In sum, a life-course perspective broadens the scope of the relationship between migration, gender inequalities, reproduction and care.