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Shah, Alpa and Lerche, Jens (2020) 'Migration and the Invisible Economies of Care: Production, social reproduction and seasonal migrant labour in India.' Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 45 (4). pp. 719-734.

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This paper focuses on the processes of migrant labour exploitation which are crucial for capitalist growth and the inequalities they generate. Ethnographic research conducted in different sites across India shows how patterns of seasonal labour migration are driven by class relations marked by hierarchies of identity (caste and tribe) and the spatial geopolitics of internal colonialism (region) – differences that are mobilised for accumulation. Labour migration scholarship has mainly explored sites of production. We extend recent social reproduction theory (SRT) and an older literature on labour migration and reproduction to argue that the intimate relationship between production and social reproduction is crucial to the exploitation of migrant labour and that this means we have to place centre‐stage the analysis of invisible economies of care which take place across spatiotemporally divided households, both in the place of migration and in the home regions of migrants. Furthermore, we develop recent work on SRT and migration to argue that an analysis of kinship (gender over generations, not just gender) is crucial to these invisible economies of care. This analysis is important in showing the machinations of capitalist growth and for political alternatives.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: India, ethnography, migration, labour, care, household
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
ISSN: 14755661
Copyright Statement: © 2020 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2020 07:59
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, European Union

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