Studies on young peoples’ migration tend to focus more on leaving - a one-time event. This research approaches youth migration as multiple events, a perspective that has received less attention in the current academic discourse. It uses a life course approach in analysing youth circulatory migration out of a tea plantation area in North-east Assam to other parts of India. By looking at the gendered and generational practices involved in householding in the con-text of the badli system, the question is how these practices influence youth migration deci-sions to leave, to return and to stay. To understand the motivations of migration, an im-portant element is the intra- and inter-generational family moral obligations that help to explain their individual and collective decisions. Using the concept of multilocal household-ing in analysing the gendered and generational householding practices in the context of badli suggests that youth decisions to leave or to stay are shaped not only by their own life course events, but in relation to the life course events of significant others such as siblings, parents, grandparents. This is further influenced by their gender, age, and birth order. Nevertheless, these decisions are not fixed and are anticipated to change in relation to future life events. Staying is not only shaped by badli, but the by the moral obligations’ youth feel towards their parents even without the prospect of becoming a badli. The intra- and inter-generational and everyday practices of multilocal householding are mutually constitutive and shape the migra-tion decisions of youth. This underlines that agency is complex and dynamic. Through an ethnographic approach combined with in-depth interviews and participant observation the research analysed the interviews of 18 youth during their return period on the plantation and included relevant views of other key informants. Data was thematically organized and ana-lysed manually. This research shows that badli is constitutive of, but not exclusive in shaping the decisions to stay and leave. Youth agency is closely interwoven within the intra- and inter-generational relations that shape the everyday practices of householding.

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Keywords Circulatory migration, life course approach, multilocal-householding, youth, tea plantation, Assam, India
Thesis Advisor Kurian, Rachel
Persistent URL
Series Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)
Kikon, Rhondeni. (2019, December 20). Leaving, returning, and staying: youth negotiating gendered and generational (intra- and inter) householding within the Plantation Labour Regime in Assam, India. Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from