This book provides rich and provocative comparative studies of South and Southeast Asian domestic workers who migrate to other parts of Asia. These studies range from Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore, to Yemen, Israel, Jordan, and the UAE. Conceptually and methodologically, this book challenges us to move beyond established regional divides and proposes new ways of mapping inter-Asian connections. The authors view migrant workers within a wider spatial context of intersecting groups and trajectories through time. Keenly attentive to the importance of migrants of diverse nationalities who have labored in multiple regions, this book examines intimate connections and distant divides in the social lives and politics of migrant workers across time and space.
Collectively, the authors propose new themes, new comparative frameworks, and new methodologies for considering vastly different degrees of social support structures and political activism, and the varied meanings of citizenship and state responsibility in sending and receiving countries. They highlight the importance of formal institutions that shape and promote migratory labor, advocacy for workers, or curtail workers rights, as well as the social identities and cultural practices and beliefs that may be linked to new inter-ethnic social and political affiliations that traverse and also transform inter-Asian spaces and pathways to mobility.
This book was published as a special issue of Critical Asian Studies.
Nicole Constable is Professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of Romance on a Global Stage: Pen Pals, Virtual Ethnography, and Mail Order Marriages (University of California Press, 2003), and the editor of Cross-Border Marriages: Gender and Mobility in Transnational Asia (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005).