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Approaching Different Dimensions of Indian Labour Migration to the Gulf

  • Serhat Yalçın
Chapter

Abstract

South-South migration has been a largely neglected subject matter in migration studies, although it constitutes an important part of overall migration flows. Especially labour migration to the Gulf region occupies a central position in this regard. The aim of this chapter is to analyse Indian labour migration to the Gulf region, one of the most important migration paths to the region, by emphasising on the whole process of migration, from its initiation to return migration which gained less academic attention. The chapter proposes an analytical framework covering the dimensions of entry, stay, work and exit of migrant workers, allowing incorporating the reasons for and the process of migration, the working and living conditions of migrant workers in host country and the process of return migration. Based on semi-structured interviews with Indian migrant workers, the chapter analyses these different dimensions and critically discusses the results with reference to the already existing literature on these different dimensions. On many occasions, the interviews confirm findings already presented in different studies. But they also highlight many points which did not gain much academic interest, especially regarding differences between skilled and low-skilled migrant workers. The chapter concludes by discussing three less-analysed topics for further research emanating from the interviews, namely, (i) the importance of intra-class differences within the Indian migrant working class, (ii) the role of the Indian state in the context of Indian labour migration and (iii) the need for an approach incorporating the mobility of both capital and labour from India to the Gulf region.

Keywords

Labour migration Vulnerable India Gulf 

Notes

Acknowledgement

The interviews used in this chapter were conducted during my research affiliation at the Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai, India, which was enabled through the programme “A New Passage to India”, organised by the International Centre for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) at the University of Kassel, and funded by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). I would like to thank the DAAD and the ICDD for enabling my research affiliation and Prof. Christoph Scherrer for his generous support. I also would like to thank Prof. Bino Paul at the TISS and Prof. S. Irudaya Rajan and his research assistants at the Centre for Development Studies in Thiruvananthapuram for their generous support for my fieldwork.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Serhat Yalçın
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Economics, Institute for Vocational EducationUniversity of KasselKasselGermany

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