Home and Away: Drivers and Perceptions of Migration Among Urban Migrants and their Rural Families in the Lower Mekong River Basin of Cambodia

Forthcoming, Migration and Development. https://doi.org/10.1177/21632324231194763

36 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2021 Last revised: 18 Oct 2023

See all articles by Sabina Shaikh

Sabina Shaikh

University of Chicago - Program on Global Environment

Alan Kolata

University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology

Jonathan Johnson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael Binford

University of Florida, Department of Geography

Date Written: August 30, 2021

Abstract

Cambodian cities continue to experience major growth, due principally to in-country migration. However, the recent trajectory and historical context of urbanisation differs from other Asian countries and as such are less investigated. Using a framework of interconnected migration factors, this article reports on rural-to-urban migration in five provinces around Phnom Penh—from the perspective of both urban migrants and their rural family members. The work examines the economic, environmental, and sociocultural factors influencing migrants’ current and desired movements, changing livelihood activities, and the permanency of migration choices. While there is evidence to support three major theories of migration—income differentials, environmental change, and social networks—it is argued that none of these alone explains current migration patterns. Explanations of Cambodian migration must account for the powerful attraction of home villages and kin relations, as well as the inseparability of two exogenous factors: the proliferation of microfinance (MFI) and the rise of the garment industry. The results show distinct patterns of migration with implications for adaptation, precarity, and rural livelihoods.

Note:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Keywords: Migration, Cambodia, Microfinance, Urban population, Rural livelihoods, Environment

JEL Classification: 020, 013, 015

Suggested Citation

Shaikh, Sabina and Kolata, Alan and Johnson, Jonathan and Binford, Michael, Home and Away: Drivers and Perceptions of Migration Among Urban Migrants and their Rural Families in the Lower Mekong River Basin of Cambodia (August 30, 2021). Forthcoming, Migration and Development. https://doi.org/10.1177/21632324231194763, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3914359 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3914359

Sabina Shaikh (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Program on Global Environment ( email )

United States

Alan Kolata

University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology ( email )

Illinois, IL 60637
United States
(773) 702-7729 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://anthropology.uchicago.edu/people/faculty/alan-kolata

Jonathan Johnson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael Binford

University of Florida, Department of Geography ( email )

3141 Turlington Hall
PO Box 117315
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States
(352) 294-7500 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://users.clas.ufl.edu/mbinford/

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