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

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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 the data.
Women refugees, Tibet, Dharamsala