On the ‘Cutting Edge of Change’
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This concluding chapter offers three overarching arguments that I make across the book. First, I revisit the concept of the ‘will to change’ introduced in the first chapter and argue that it is important to examine more closely the multiple subjectivities produced by ‘will-full’ migrant women. These subjectivities are constituted through the intertwined but often contradictory discourses on ‘filial duty,’ ‘hope,’ and ‘protection’ that emerge from traditional and newly emergent economic, political, and social formations in the country. Second, I analyse the implications of this migration trajectory for social reproduction at the destinations and in Ethiopia, noting that there is a double depletion in women’s capacities for social reproduction. Ethiopian migrant women are part of the ‘global care chain’ and help to fill the care deficit in the destination countries, while at the same time seeking to support their families in Ethiopia. Despite this double depletion, migrant women often still find resources for the pursuit of the personal goal of changing their own lives. Finally, I draw the first two arguments into a framework of ‘agency as projects’ and ‘agency as power,’ to make a case for the degree and direction of the transformations that Ethiopian women’s migration has generated.
KeywordsSubjectivity Agency Social reproduction Depletion Transformation
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