The Organisation of Migration: Migration Industry and Social Networks in Anand, Gujarat (India)

Author: 
Pieter Lagerwaard

The Organisation of Migration: Migration Industry and Social Networks in Anand, Gujarat (India)

Author: Pieter Lagerwaard

ABSTRACT

This research report focuses on migration agents in Anand, India. Migration agents are the key figures in the migration industry: ‘a major and largely legal international business that facilitates migration’ (Castles 2004: 209). However, in Anand many potential migrants possess a network of overseas family and friends that can assist them in their migration. Such networks are known as migrant networks. Although migrant networks facilitate various parts of migration for a large number of potential migrants in Anand; agents fulfill a key role in their migration. Migration agents possess knowledge and overseas connections that potential migrants cannot acquire through their networks. Furthermore, agents can function as substitutes for persons who do not possess a migrant network, therefore placing them in a position to migrate. Agents manage to fulfill this role by, on the one hand, penetrating the migrant networks and, on the other hand, by co-operating on a macro level to arrange the practical parts of migration.