Travel and Transformation in Rural Bangladesh
Long-term migration is one of the most important factors in the formation of cultural identities in the modern world. Immigrant communities are usually studied in the context of the country people have migrated to; Katy Gardner, however, looks at the neglected `sending' side of the equation. In the sending communities, out-migration has become a central economic and social resource - the route to social, as well as physical, mobility, transforming those who gain
access to it. Dr Gardner examines the cultural context and effects of the long-term migration from Bangladesh to Britain and the Middle East, drawing on her fieldwork in the Sylhet
district,an area of exceptional migration. Major aspects of Bangledeshi life such as land, family structure, marriage and religion - all of which have been affected by the heavy out-migration - are covered in detail, and the transformation of the social structure is mapped. In focusing on local ideology, this book shows how local cultural meanings are constantly negotiated and contested by different groups in the context of rapid economic change. At the heart of this
important contribution to the anthropology of migration is a presentation of the dynamic nature of migration and the concomitant possibility of self-transformation it holds for migrant cultures.