Understanding women's autonomy: Wives of Punjabi truck drivers in Punjab and BC

Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
This study examines the widely held view that Punjabi women lack autonomy, having relatively little freedom to make their own choices. Through a survey questionnaire and in-depth interviews, the research explored understandings of their autonomy among 17 truck driver wives in Punjab and 14 in British Columbia, taking account of the implications of the lengthy absences of the women's husbands. The study finds that the way women perceive and experience autonomy must be understood and measured with more nuance than is the case in much previous research. This has placed too much emphasis on attempts to compress perceptions and experiences of autonomy into discreet, quantitative measures. Research for this paper revealed many inconsistencies in commonly understood indicators of autonomy, highlighting the importance of examining the diverse circumstances of women and the unpredictability of human agency.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Pang, Irene
Member of collection
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