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Breadwinners and Homemakers: Migration and Changing Conjugal Expectations in Rural Bangladesh


  • Nitya Rao


The literature on marriage norms and aspirations across societies largely sees the institution as static -- a tool for the assertion of masculinities and subordination of women. The changing meanings of marriage and conjugality in the contemporary context of globalisation have received scant attention. Based on research in rural Bangladesh, this article questions the usefulness of notions of autonomy and dependence in understanding conjugal relations and expectations in a context of widespread migration for extended periods, especially to overseas destinations, where mutuality is crucial for social reproduction, though in clearly gender-demarcated domains.

Suggested Citation

  • Nitya Rao, 2012. "Breadwinners and Homemakers: Migration and Changing Conjugal Expectations in Rural Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(1), pages 26-40, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:48:y:2012:i:1:p:26-40
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2011.629648

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Morduch, Jonathan J. & Stern, Hal S., 1997. "Using mixture models to detect sex bias in health outcomes in Bangladesh," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 259-276, March.
    2. Rozana Himaz, 2008. "Intrahousehold Allocation of Education Expenditure and Returns to Education: The Case of Sri Lanka," Economics Series Working Papers 393, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. John Gibson & Scott Rozelle, 2004. "Is it Better to be a Boy? A Disaggregated Outlay Equivalent Analysis of Gender Bias in Papua New Guinea," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(4), pages 115-136.
    4. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 2007. "The progress of school education in India," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 168-195, Summer.
    5. Gong, X. & van Soest, A.H.O. & Zhang, P., 2000. "Sexual Bias and Household Consumption : A Semiparametic Analysis of Engel curves in Rural China," Discussion Paper 2000-45, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. Messer, Ellen, 1997. "Intra-household allocation of food and health care: Current findings and understandings--Introduction," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(11), pages 1675-1684, June.
    7. Sonia Bhalotra & Cliff Attfield, 1998. "Intrahousehold resource allocation in rural Pakistan: a semiparametric analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 463-480.
    8. Subramanian, S. & Deaton, A., 1990. "Gender Effects In Indian Consumption Patterns," Papers 147, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
    9. John Gibson, 1997. "Testing for boy-girl discrimination with household expenditure data: results for Papua New Guinea," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(10), pages 643-646.
    10. Monazza Aslam & Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 2008. "Gender and household education expenditure in Pakistan," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(20), pages 2573-2591.
    11. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2005. "Where Has All the Bias Gone? Detecting Gender Bias in the Intrahousehold Allocation of Educational Expenditure," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 409-451, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cecile Jackson, 2015. "Modernity and Matrifocality: The Feminization of Kinship?," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 46(1), pages 1-24, January.
    2. Sudarshan, Ratna M., 2014. "Enabling women's work," ILO Working Papers 994860303402676, International Labour Organization.
    3. repec:ilo:ilowps:486030 is not listed on IDEAS

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