This introductory chapter aims to understand the differences and similarities in rural–urban migration and urban employment of young Cambodian women. It examines the interrelationships among structural conditions, social and cultural constructions, and individual experiences. In discussing the processes and practices of migration and employment, the chapter addresses questions about the individual and familial motivations for migration and urban employment, the conditions of women's work and life in the city, and how these motivations and conditions differ between women in factory work, sex work, and street trade. It also looks at how urban work and life affect young women, as well as how women perceive their rural backgrounds in relation to their desired “modern” urban experiences.
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