Cornell University

"You Find Only Women Here": Family Arrangements and Labor Migration in Rural Bangladesh

Monday, February 2, 2015 at 12:00am

Uris Hall, G08

Roslyn Fraser Schoen is a Post-doctoral Associate in the Department of Development Sociology. Using care work and filial responsibility as sites for understanding social change, Schoen examined the effects of concurrent economic and demographic shifts in Matlab, Bangladesh. She explored these shifts both through women’s perspectives on their current household and filial responsibilities and through parents’ discussions of their expectations for their sons and daughters. 

Several state strategies toward alleviating poverty are highly visible in rural Bangladesh, including the low-fertility agenda and encouraging male labor migration. As a result, families are much smaller than they were just 2-3 generations ago and men are increasingly absent from daily household life as they migrate abroad for work. By focusing on care work and filial responsibility among the women who remain in the village, Schoen’s work contributes to an ongoing story about the relationship between global labor markets, aging populations, and the increasing demand for women's care work. 

Event Type



Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, International Programs




Roslyn Fraser Schoen

Speaker Affiliation

Department of Development Sociology

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