Beyond Heroes and Victims: Filipina Contract Migrants, Economic Activism and Class Transformations

Gibson, Katherine, Law, Lisa, and MacKay, Dierdre (2001) Beyond Heroes and Victims: Filipina Contract Migrants, Economic Activism and Class Transformations. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 3 (3). pp. 365-386.

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Abstract

This article employs anti-essentialist Marxist analysis to shed light on the diverse economic activities that Filipina contract migrants are engaged in at home and overseas. We point to the limitations of dominant representations of these women as 'heroes' of national development or 'victims' of a global capitalist economy, which tend to foreclose a discussion of multiple class processes engendered by transnational labour migration. In drawing on a fluid theory of class, we investigate how contract domestic workers are involved in multiple class processes that allow them to produce, appropriate and distribute surplus labour in innovative ways. We also discuss the activities of the Asian Migrant Centre, a non-governmental organization working with domestic workers in Hong Kong, whose efforts to inspire the entrepreneurial aspirations of these women reflect the importance of recognizing migrant workers' multiple economic identities. This analysis has implications for how we imagine the agency of contract workers, as well as the performativity of research and advocacy work.

Item ID: 11615
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: contract migrants, activism, class, representation
ISSN: 1468-4470
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2010 04:58
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160499 Human Geography not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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