In many parts of South-East Asia, women's lifestyles are going through enormous changes as women move from traditional rural, agricultural lifestyles to modern, urban lifestyles, which often involve migration to cities, taking on paid work, and having a quite different relationship with their families. This book, based on intensive research among the women of the Bidayuh people in Sarawak, all of them first generation migrant wage workers, explores the extent to which women's lifestyles are changing, and the reasons which prompt women to make the changes. How far are such women driven by economic considerations, how far by dissatisfaction with traditional lifestyles, and how far by the appeal of a glamorous urban lifestyle? The author's research includes detailed interviews in the field, and much of this interview material is included in the book, thereby enabling the Bidayuh women to tell their own stories as they grapple with the rapid changes swirling around them.
HEW Cheng Sim teaches in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Universtiy of Malaysia, Sarawak.