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The labor of care: Filipina migrants and transnational families in the digital age

Soon, Jan Jan (2018) The labor of care: Filipina migrants and transnational families in the digital age. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 49 (2). pp. 333-335. ISSN 0047-2336

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The Philippines’ export of labour was institutionalised under its government’s labour export policy back in 1972. With a total of US $29.7 billion, the World Bank ranked the Philippines behind India and China in the top three remittance-receiving countries in 2015. For migrants, remittances are often deemed a way of caring for their loved ones, often in material form. But how do the migrants and their families mutually care for each other affectively, in a way that transcends temporal and spatial barriers? Francisco-Menchavez’s book is an excellent account of how Filipino transnational families separated by long-term migration manage the “labour of care.” The focus of this book is on how Filipina migrants working predominantly as domestic helpers in New York City adopted communication technology to care for their families left behind in the Philippines and how those families engaged in reciprocal care.The introduction describes the background of Francisco-Menchavez’s multi-sited, longitudinal ethnographic study. Narratives and qualitative findings from interviews and focus group discussions form the basis of the book. The author recruited 50 Filipina migrants for the study. A sub-group of 11 migrants formed the core of Francisco-Menchavez’s field work, in which she interviewed the migrants and their families in the Philippines between 2009 and 2014. The majority of the migrants in the sample were undocumented and had lived abroad for between two and 25 years. Due to their undocumented status, many had not returned home for many years, for fear of not being able to return to the US and thus lose their jobs which had proven indispensable in providing for their families.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Book review
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: School of Economics, Finance & Banking
Depositing User: Mrs. Norazmilah Yaakub
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2020 01:12
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2020 01:12
URI: http://repo.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/27473

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