Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Sociology

Supervisor

Danièle Bélanger

Abstract

The crossing of national borders between nations of the developing world provides opportunities for the poor who seek sources of livelihood, while putting migrants, especially women migrants, at risk of exploitation and abuse. It is against the backdrop of these contradictory effects of migration for poor women that this thesis examines the experiences of a group of daily cross-border migrant women in northern Viet Nam. The study focuses on the role of networks in their lives. Based on 22 in-depth interviews with Vietnamese women migrants who work at the Viet Nam-China border region, I develop an analytical framework that seeks to unpack the role of networks in this migration flow. The analysis indicates differences in experiences and the roles of networks between women who use official and unofficial crossing points. The analysis indicates the need to map the network beyond the migrants themselves and to recognize that networks ties are both protective and exploitative.