Migration, reproduction and wellbeing in transition

Catherine Locke, University of East Anglia
Heather Zhang, University of Chester

Demographic interest in migration in developing countries tends to be primarily concerned with population growth and its impacts. However, recent changes that include growing interest in gender relations, household livelihood strategies, rights and wellbeing has opened up new kinds of concerns around migration and reproduction. These include changing reproductive behaviours, vulnerability to sexual and reproductive health threats and concerns around managing social reproduction. This paper intends to place reproductive concerns as integral components of migratory processes and to consider what this might mean for migration studies and social policy practice in two transitional economies, Vietnam and China. We argue that reproductive aspirations and the way these are shaped through mobility are integral to migration. Migration of men and women may involve different and shifting reproductive considerations and motives. Investigating these dynamics and interactions between migration and reproduction will provide insights into gendered experiences and inform various policy domains.

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Presented in Session 32: Population, development and environment in developing countries