Journeys into exile : Tibetan women refugees and the migration experience : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Focusing on refugee theories and concepts, this study utilises a qualitative
research approach to analyse the migration experiences of a group of Tibetan
refugee women living in exile in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, India. The study
examines the reasons why the women left Tibet, risking their lives to make the
arduous journey across the Himalayan Mountains into exile, and explores their
past, present and future hopes, the difficulties they have faced, and those that
they are facing today.
Data for the study were collected through various methods, including in-depth
interviews, Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), and Capacities and
Vulnerabilities Analysis (CVA), stimulus pictures, informal conversations and
personal observations while in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, India.
The Tibetan refugee movement is examined within its own socio-political
context through an exploration of the historical background of the Tibetan
refugee situation, including China's presence in Tibet, and the ways in which
this presence has affected Tibetan refugee movements. The Literature Review
examines the various migration and refugee theories and concepts that have
emerged within academia, and assesses the conceptual gaps that are present
within the existing literature.
Focusing on contemporary Tibetan refugee movements, this thesis considers
the question of why, after more than fifty years of Chinese occupation, Tibetans
are still leaving Tibet to live in exile in India. The study then puts forward two
models of refugee migration based on the patterns of migration expressed in