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Gender relations in the Khmer 'home': Post-conflict perspectives.

Brickell, Katherine A (2007) Gender relations in the Khmer 'home': Post-conflict perspectives. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

In the context of Cambodia's post-conflict society of transition, this thesis traces the changing contours of gender relations and inequalities in the Khmer 'home' and beyond. Drawing on 165 oral histories, discussion groups and semi-structured interviews, with men and women from rural and urban localities in Siem Reap, the thesis argues three main points. First, by examining the interplay and relative significance(s) of conflict and now global integration, the research demonstrates that while the Khmer Rouge period is an important and inherent part of the fabric of Cambodian history, using it as the major benchmark for tracking change fails to encapsulate the diversity of contemporary forces affecting gender relations. I argue that tourism-generated employment and the associated rise of livelihood-related migration is having just as significant an impact on intra-household (in) equality and the spatial dislocation of households. Second, despite the discourse of egalitarianism that the Khmer Rouge regime tried to enforce, I argue that Pol Pot did not manage to unseat persistent gender inequalities which continue to disadvantage women's lives. Combined with the persistence of normative meanings of 'gender' and 'home', I argue for the perspectives, roles and identities of men, and gendered power relations, to be the subject of greater academic and policy action. Third and finally, the thesis argues the utility of 'home' both as an empirical site and conceptual tool for understanding the nature, depth and resilience of gender inequality in discursive and pragmatic terms. The thesis concludes by emphasising the critical need for women's equality in the home to become an integral part of future international development agendas. This is particularly the case, if advances towards fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals are to have a positive and meaningful impact on the lives of women in Cambodia, and in the Global South more generally.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gender Studies, Sociology, Social Structure and Development, South Asian Studies, Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2956

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