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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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Rice People in the City

Rice People in the City

(p.21) 2 Rice People in the City
Khmer Women on the Move

Annuska Derks

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter explains that within the Cambodian context, family and village relationships play an important role in the motivation for migration and choice of occupation. However, the social ties (ksae) that facilitate rural–urban migration are not only based on family relations. The sheer number of people moving from their rural base in search of employment has created increasing possibilities for mediation within the migration process. Such a mediator, referred to as meekcol, is someone who recruits laborers for employers elsewhere. For the young rural women, mediators were particularly peers who bring experiences, new clothes, and remittances back from Phnom Penh. Rural women in the city comprise an important link between “rice people” and city people, bridging a gap between what is perceived as the “traditional” peasant world and the “modern” urban world.

Keywords:   family relationships, rural–urban migration, social ties, meekcol, young rural women, rice people, city people, modern urban world

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