Opponent: Professor Halldis Valestrand, Institutt for sosiologi, statsvitenskap og samfunnsplanlegging, Universitetet i Tromsø.

Huvudhandledare: Professor Gunnel Forsberg, Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet. Handledare: Professor Eva Andersson, Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet.

Ordförande vid disputationen: Professor Dominic Power, Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet.

Betygsnämndens ledamöter: Professor Erik Westholm, Institutionen för stad och land, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, professor Carina Listerborn, Institutionen för urbana studier, Malmö högskola, och docent Ann-Zofie Duvander, Sociologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet. Reservledamot är docent Thomas Borén, Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet.

Abstract: Set within discussions of gender, migration and social practices, this thesis explores the ways in which Thai women migrants to Sweden build connections between rural areas through their daily activities. Arriving in Sweden primarily through marriage ties, Thai women migrants are more likely to live in Swedish rural areas than in urban areas. Rural areas are typically not seen as a site of globalization or as receivers of international migrants. In contrast to these perceptions, the case of Thai women migrants in the Swedish countryside reveals a complex and vigorous set of social practices that connect rural Sweden across spatial and temporal scales.
The aim of this study is to explore the ways in which Thai migrant women construct and implement social practices spatially and temporally. Drawing on the life stories of 16 Thai women living in Sweden, along with other sources of empirical data analysed within feminist epistemologies, this thesis discusses: In what ways does gender shape migrant social practices? How are social practices constructed within individual migrant micro-geographies? By what means are migrant social practices contextualized by spaces and places?
The results highlight the importance of a translocal perspective to understanding gendered social practices. This study adds to the translocal discussion by demonstrating that social practices are embedded in multiple geographic sites and scales. Thai women, in this study, emerge as significant actors in global countrysides and do the functional work of bringing spaces and places together daily and through their life course.

Keywords: Gender, social practices, migration, rural, translocalism, micro-geographies, mobilities, spatial relations, case study, narrative interviews, life course, feminist epistemology, Thailand, Sweden.