[WSMDiscuss] Migration and the Invisible Economies of Care

Umakant uk4in at yahoo.co.in
Thu Jul 23 20:12:43 CEST 2020

Dear Friends

Greetings!  The migrant labour crisis that exploded afterthe announcement of the complete lockdown with barely four hour notice resultedinto a human induced catastrophe unheard of in contemporary times. It needs tobe explained in broadest possible way so as to understand where does theproblem could lie? 


On the linksmentioned below you could read an article written by Prof. Alpa Shah(Anthropology, LSE) and Jens Lerche (Development Studies, SOAS). The first linkis about the full length article and the rest two are about shorter version ofthe same article. 


Do pass it on toothers in your circle/network.   


Migrationand the invisible economies of care: Production, social reproduction andseasonal migrant labour in India

Alpa Shah and Jens Lerche,Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, July 01, 2020 (https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12401)



Thispaper focuses on the processes of migrant labour exploitation which are crucialfor capitalist growth and the inequalities they generate. Ethnographic researchconducted in different sites across India shows how patterns of seasonal labourmigration 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 scholarshiphas mainly explored sites of production. We extend recent social reproductiontheory (SRT) and an older literature on labour migration and reproduction toargue that the intimate relationship between production and social reproductionis crucial to the exploitation of migrant labour and that this means we have toplace centre‐stage the analysis ofinvisible economies of care which take place across spatiotemporally dividedhouseholds, both in the place of migration and in the home regions of migrants. 




Fiveissues hidden behind the exodus of India’s migrant labour under theCovid-19 lockdown

Alpa Shah and Jens Lerche, The RoyalGeographical Society Blog, July 14, 2020 



Ifthere is anything positive that has come out of the multiple crises created byCovid-19, it is that, in India, the world’s most draconian lockdown drew publicattention to not only the plight but the existence of armies of vulnerablemigrant workers. 




The fivetruths about the migrant workers’ crisis 

Alpa Shah and Jens Lerche, Opinion, Hindustan Times, July13, 2020 

The five truths about the migrant workers’ crisis | Opinion

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The five truths about the migrant workers’ crisis | Opinion

They are underpaid and overworked, from marginalised communities, sustained by an invisible economy of care




They are underpaid and overworked, from marginalisedcommunities, sustained by an invisible economy of care. 




With Regards 

Umakant, Ph. D 

New Delhi 


My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is battle for freedom. It is the battle of reclamation of human personality. 
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