Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Differences that make all the difference. Gender, migration and vulnerability (migration to the Netherlands 1945-2005)

The proposed project evaluates how the vulnerability of migrant men and women was constructed in political, public and media discourses, and how differences in the constructed vulnerability influenced the decision to migrate, the migration process, and the subsequent settlement process.

Duration
2006  -   2012
Contact
Marlou Schrover
Funding
NWO Vici NWO Vici

Gender has generally been acknowledged as one of the most important categories of historical, sociological and political analysis. Yet, migration to the Netherlands has not been described from a gender perspective. The need for such a description has been stressed frequently, and the aim of this proposal is to provide such a description. Gender differences in migration will be described from a long-term perspective (1945-2005). The advantage of a long-term perspective is that it can reveal how differences between the migration of men and women changed over time. 
The theoretical innovation of the project is the introduction of a heuristic model of migration, with constructed vulnerability as its key concept. The model is designed to explain gendered differences in migration that previous models have failed to explain. This new conceptual framework should explain from a comparative view differences in migration between men and women, and between categories of migrants (guestworkers, refugees and post-colonial migrants). My hypothesis is that the constructed vulnerability of migrant men is different from that of migrant women. The proposed project evaluates how the vulnerability of migrant men and women was constructed in political, public and media discourses, and how differences in the constructed vulnerability influenced the decision to migrate, the migration process, and the subsequent settlement process. 
The proposed research will make use of a very rich and hitherto unused archive, which contains a wealth of material on thousands of individual immigrants. Information from this archive will be supplemented with interviews and published statistical data.

Connection with other research

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