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Title: Social and cultural dimensions of labour migration : a study of overseas female Filipino workers
Author: Chen, L.-P.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2005
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This study explores the reasons that more and more Filipino women are seeking overseas contract work (OCW) and why so many choose to repeat the migration cycle. The experiences of overseas female Filipino workers (OFFWs) are analysed within the framework of social exclusion theory (SET). Analytical concepts, such as capital and arena, are adapted from Bourdieu in order to enrich SET with cultural and personal dimensions. OFFWs are understood as socials agents acting within overlapping social, economic, and political arenas before, during, and after OCW. Social exclusion is defined as lack of full participation in an arena in which a social agent acts. Exclusion in home arenas, for example unemployment and frustrated social aspirations, are examined, as are exclusions within the arenas of labour migration itself, for example in recruitment fees and restrictions on freedom of movement in the host country. The ways in which state policy and political and market dynamics support these exclusions is addressed. Questionnaires and interviews of current and former OFFWs reveal the considerable extent to which choices related to migration are influenced by local ideologies of age and gender, and by local social patterns. It was found that OFFWs voluntarily risk exclusion in the arenas of overseas contract work in hopes of overcoming exclusion for themselves and their families in the arenas at home in the Philippines. Short-term success and long-term failure of OCW to overcome exclusion in home arenas motivate many women to repeat their migration. The dissertation argues that persistent exclusion in the home arenas may be partly due to incommensurabilities among the various (social, economic, local, international) arenas in which OFFWs act, such that overcoming exclusion in one arena engenders exclusion in another.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available