Exploring (transit) migration through a postcolonial lens: Tibetans migrating to India and beyond

Rebecca Frilund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study contributes to the scholarly call to increase studies on migration from the perspective of postcolonial thought by exploring a novel ethnographic case; the migration of Tibetans who have migrated from Tibet via Nepal to India and who often aspire migrating onwards from India. It is argued that postcolonial thought gives a fuller understanding of migration via one place or several towards migrants’ final destinations, often called transit migration in scholarly writings, by demonstrating how unequal power structures, such as unequal distribution of wealth or access to mobility and opportunities, increase migration (aspirations) of Tibetans both in China and in India, where they have a minority position. Despite this, their migration reveals an active subaltern agency taking advantage of the various opportunities during their migratory processes, such as the international networks in Dharamsala and the images of Tibetans as exotic ‘Others’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1425-1441
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number7
Early online date25 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


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