Gendered Agency in Skilled Migration: The Case of Indian Women in the United States. By: Manohar, Namita N. Gender & Society. Dec2019, Vol. 33 Issue 6, p935-960. 26p.

This article examines how skilled middle-class Tamil women—an Indian regional group—negotiate with gender to strategize immigration to and settlement in the United States by drawing on life-history interviews with 33 first-generation professional women, most of whom entered the United States as family migrants. I find that the women negotiate with gender to (re)configure Tamil Brahminical relations of subordination, thereby asserting their subjectivity through “strident embedded agency” in immigration. In this way, they realize gender non-normative desires for immigration, engage in gender non-normative actions, and perform normative actions in reconstituted ways. Even as their strident embedded agency facilitates their embodiment of (re)configured Tamil womanhood, it (re)produces Tamil Brahmin relations of subordination. This article delineates the complexity of women’s subjectivities and agency and Tamil women’s agential strategizing of immigration as emergent from their gendered and caste/classed social locations.