The Gezira Scheme (GS) area in the central Sudan is considered a melting pot for migrants of different origins and whose lives are intertwined with the Scheme land. This book offers a qualitative analysis of social networks of women migrants of different origins and age groups who are engaged in the agricultural labour force of the GS. It looks at the social interactions, the diversity of social processes and the functions and functioning of social networks of women that shape their everyday life. Special emphasis is given to the means by which women get work opportunities and undertake work negotiations. Strategies that women apply to solve problems arising at work and in their private sphere are explored. The differential responses concerning ethnicicity-based differences are analysed. A combination of social networks theory and an actor-oriented perspective, both framed in constructivist terms, guided the analysis. To illustrate the complete picture of gendered social realities additional notions such as social security and social capital are introduced. Evidence shows that women are actors and acquire agency and their social networks serve multiple purposes and facilitate a wide range of settings. Examining the social networks by drawing upon a sociological approach provides new insights into the social networks theory and postulates additions to the actor-oriented approach and proposes new contributions to both theories.
Awatif Ata Elmannan Elageed is a sociologist and a gender specialist. She is a lecturer at the Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies, Ahfad University for Women, Sudan. This book is based on the thesis of her doctoral degree awarded in 2007 in Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany. Her current research interests focus on living experiences of displaced women of Darfur and south Sudan.