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Harvard University

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender


This paper is the result of a month long study on how the process of migration affects the sense of Self of middle-classed Creole Surinamese migrant women who first migrated to the Netherlands in the 1960’s or 1970’s. All data was obtained from semi-structured oral history interviews analyzed with a historical and theoretical framework focusing on the influence of colonialism upon the three steps of the migration process: before migration, migration, and after migration. It is concluded that colonialism and its legacies have conferred, reconfigured and dismantled migrant women’s sense of Self throughout the entire migration process. Recommendations for future research include similar studies on other groups of Surinamese migrants such as men, other ethnicity groups and the lower class.


Demography, Population, and Ecology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Sociology of Culture | Women's Studies


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