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Khmer Women on the MoveExploring Work and Life in Urban Cambodia$
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Annuska Derks

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831288

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831288.001.0001

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City Life and Modern Experience

City Life and Modern Experience

Chapter:
(p.142) 7 City Life and Modern Experience
Source:
Khmer Women on the Move
Author(s):

Annuska Derks

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824831288.003.0007

This chapter studies the urban experiences of several young rural women working in Phnom Penh—experiences that are usually defined by contrast with the traditional village life these women have left behind. The perceptions of the modern urban world vary among women in their different kinds of work, partly because the work experience itself is connected to aspirations of modernity. The chapter analyzes the connections between urban employment, living situations, and modern experience. The resulting different perspectives suggest a “fluidity of urban life,” or the potential for personal change in the city. Such a change is not without problems, however, as it involves moral dilemmas regarding the need to uphold ideals of parental authority, proper behavior, and sexuality. Nor is it unidirectional, as it is also marked by women's mobility in relation to rural and urban geographies, social worlds, and forms of self-presentation.

Keywords:   urban experience, young rural women, traditional village life, modernity, urban employment, female mobility, self-presentation

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