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Book part
Publication date: 9 June 2011

Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Yuchun Zou

Purpose – Integrating a gender perspective with a world-system theory, we examine how the recent global economic crisis in China has differential impact on female and male…

Abstract

Purpose – Integrating a gender perspective with a world-system theory, we examine how the recent global economic crisis in China has differential impact on female and male migrant workers. We analyzes how this gendered impact is compounded by intersectionality that results in multiple inequalities shaping their work, identity, power relationship, agency, and family lives.

Method – Our analyses were primarily drawn from 14 surveys of major provinces with higher migration rates, and were supplemented by personal narratives and interviews of migrant workers.

Findings – The political-economic analysis of the world-system demonstrates how the intricate linkages among declines in trade, finance, and production led to the economic crisis in China, with more detrimental effects on women migrant workers than their male counterparts. The intersectionality of gender, class, age/generation, and regional differences has played out in the state-regulated process of migration, configuring and reconfiguring the organization of capital, labor, and production and determining unequal gender relations, class dynamics, citizenship, employment, and family life. Conditioned by complex inequalities, some affected migrant workers, far from being victimized, have demonstrated agency, resilience, and a spirit of resistance.

Research and practical implications – More disaggregated data by gender are needed to understand the full range of differential crisis effects on diverse women and men workers.

Originality/value of the study – This study suggests the importance of considering gender-sensitive policies and a gender mainstreaming approach to addressing gender inequality and improving migrant workers’ lives for their empowerment.

Details

Analyzing Gender, Intersectionality, and Multiple Inequalities: Global, Transnational and Local Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-743-8

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Book part
Publication date: 20 July 2012

Zhen Wang

Purpose – The chapter studies gender occupational segregation of rural-urban migrant workers in China based on 2006 survey data from five Chinese cities.Methodology – The…

Abstract

Purpose – The chapter studies gender occupational segregation of rural-urban migrant workers in China based on 2006 survey data from five Chinese cities.

Methodology – The multinomial logit (MNL) model is used to analyze migrant workers' occupational attainment by gender. The Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition method is employed to analyze factors affecting gender occupational segregation, which can be classified into observed factors and unobserved factors, including gender discrimination.

Findings – The index of dissimilarity based on the data shows that gender occupational segregation for migrant workers exists. The result of Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition shows that the unobserved effects account for more than three-fourths of the total gender occupational segregation.

Research limitations – The “index problem” and the assumption of the same occupational preference between men and women of the Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition need to be addressed further.

Social implications – The existing gender equality policies and social protection confined to urban workers should be extended to migrant workers. Increasing training investment in migrant workers is also recommended.

Details

Social Production and Reproduction at the Interface of Public and Private Spheres
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-875-5

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2008

Fatma Güven‐Lisaniler, Sevin Uğural and Leopoldo Rodríguez

To discuss the gender dimension of migration and human rights, and to provide an assessment of how to improve human rights protections for migrant women workers in…

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Abstract

Purpose

To discuss the gender dimension of migration and human rights, and to provide an assessment of how to improve human rights protections for migrant women workers in janitorial services and night clubs across registered and unregistered migrant women workers in North Cyprus.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey is done to establish the employment conditions of migrant women workers in both sectors. The conditions are evaluated to assess the compliance with North Cyprus labor and immigration legislation and international human rights protocols.

Findings

Registered and unregistered segment of the janitorial services and unregistered segment of sex industry are dominated by Turkish migrant women. The registered part of sex industry is dominated by Eastern European migrant women mostly due to the legislative framework within which these two activities operate, primarily with respect to immigration requirements and also as it pertains to the remunerative potential of activity. No evidences of human rights abuses of Turkish immigrants in either segment of the cleaning services sector are founded but lack of knowledge of their conditions in unregistered sex work. Eastern European migrants working in the registered segment of the sex industry suffer human rights and basic migrant rights abuses at the hands of the state and the employer.

Research limitations/implications

Lack of knowledge of Turkish migrant women workers' conditions in unregistered segment of sex work limits the findings of the research. A survey across unregistered Turkish sex workers is suggested for future research.

Practical implications

Legalization of commercial sex among registered konsomatrices would provide an opportunity for labor rights legislation to be fully applied to their primary income‐earning activities. Most of the human and immigrant rights violations are the result of legislation applied to nightclubs and work visas for konsomatrices. Improvements in the legislation and work visas for konsomatrices would guarantee the women to have access to assistance in case of human rights violations.

Originality/value

The paper provides practical suggestion for the improvement of human rights protections for migrant women workers in North Cyprus.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2007

Rosemary Sales

This article addresses contemporary presentations of migrants, particularly women, as dependents and a ‘burden’ on welfare. Focusing mainly on Britain, it shows that…

Abstract

This article addresses contemporary presentations of migrants, particularly women, as dependents and a ‘burden’ on welfare. Focusing mainly on Britain, it shows that, while immigration policies increasingly restrict their access to official welfare, migrants are crucial to the provision of welfare both to their own family and community and in mainstream services, including professional roles as well as in informal employment. Migrants are involved in complex networks of caring relations, often across national boundaries, in which they may provide care to others in order to provide for dependents back home.

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International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2021

Nguyen Quynh Phuong and Sundar Venkatesh

Limited previous studies about Vietnamese returned migrant workers reviewed that a relatively high rate of migrants returned home before their contract ended. This paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Limited previous studies about Vietnamese returned migrant workers reviewed that a relatively high rate of migrants returned home before their contract ended. This paper aims to explore how the decisions to return were made under social lenses.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyses data obtained through in-depth interviews of contract workers who had worked in Taiwan with a focus on Phu Tho province in Vietnam.

Findings

The authors followed O’Reilly’s (2012) adaption of Practice theory in migration research to examine a group of Vietnamese labour migrants returning from Taiwan. Under this theory, external and internal structures are the two divisions of the social environment. The authors identified external structures that might enable or constraint migrant’s mobility. When negotiating internal structures, Vietnamese women might end their contract early in response to family obligations.

Originality/value

The findings provide insights into how women make their decisions when to return, which may contribute to a better understanding of how to assist women engaged in transnational labour migration.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 11 December 2019

Wee Chan Au, Uracha Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, Yan Soon Tan and Pervaiz K. Ahmed

The purpose of this paper is to explore the work-life (WL) experiences of live-in women migrant domestic workers (MDWs), who represent a significant proportion of migrant

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the work-life (WL) experiences of live-in women migrant domestic workers (MDWs), who represent a significant proportion of migrant workers globally. MDWs play a key role in enabling the work-life balance (WLB) of others, namely the middle-class households that employ them. Yet, their experiences have largely been invisible in mainstream WL literature. The authors draw on an intersectional approach to frame the WL experiences of this marginalized group of women at the intersection of being secondary labour segment workers, with significant legal and employment restrictions as migrant workers, who work and live in the same place as their employers.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative interviews were conducted with 13 women MDWs from Indonesia and the Philippines working in Malaysia. The women talked about the meaning of work as MDWs, how they maintain familial connections whilst working abroad, and how they negotiate their WLB as live-in workers. Thematic analysis of the interviews focused on the intersection of the women’s multiple dimensions of disadvantage, including gender, class and temporary migrant-foreigner status, in shaping their accounts of the WL interface.

Findings

Three thematic narratives highlight that any semblance of WLB in the MDWs’ lived experience has given way to the needs of their employers and to the imperative to earn an income for their families back home. The themes are: working as MDWs enables the women and their families back home to have a life; the co-existence of WL boundary segmentation and integration in relation to “real” and “temporary” families; and the notion of WLB being centred around the women’s ability to fulfil their multiple duties as MDWs and absent mothers/sisters/daughters.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on a small sample of live-in women MDWs in Malaysia, intended to promote typically excluded voices and not to provide generalizable findings. Accessing potential participants was a considerable challenge, given the vulnerable positions of women MDWs and the invisible nature of their work.

Practical implications

Future research should adopt a multi-stakeholder approach to studying the WL experiences of women MDWs. In particular, links with non-governmental organizations who work directly with women MDWs should be established as a way of improving future participant access.

Social implications

The study underscores the existence of policies and regulations that tolerate and uphold social inequalities that benefit primary labour segment workers to the detriment of secondary labour segment workers, including women MDWs.

Originality/value

Extant WL literature is dominated by the experiences of “the ideal work-life balancers”, who tend to be white middle-class women, engaged in professional work. This study offers original contribution by giving voice to a taken-for-granted group of women migrant workers who make other people’s WLB possible. Moreover, the study challenges WL research by underscoring the power inequities that shape the participants’ marginal and disadvantaged lived experience of work, life, family and WLB.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Nguyen Quynh Phuong and Sundar Venkatesh

Adopting a view that migration is an investment, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the risk-adjusted returns that migrant domestic workers from Vietnam to Taiwan…

Abstract

Purpose

Adopting a view that migration is an investment, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the risk-adjusted returns that migrant domestic workers from Vietnam to Taiwan can expect to earn.

Design/methodology/approach

The study analyses data obtained through interviews of a sample of migrant domestic workers, all from Phu Tho in the north of Vietnam, who had migrated to Taiwan.

Findings

The study found that migrants were driven strongly by financial motivations. Analysis of the typical costs of migrating, wages in the host country, average length of stay and especially, uncertainties affecting the length of stay, found that the investment in migration is a highly risky one for migrants. In most cases, migration does not pay.

Research limitations/implications

Estimates of costs and benefits can be improved with larger samples of respondents and data sources that can help validate the interviews.

Practical implications

There is a need to improve financial literacy among migrants to help them better assess their investment in migration.

Social implications

This paper highlights the inequity in risk allocation in the context of migration.

Originality/value

To the knowledge, there is no research of the financial costs and benefits of migration as domestic workers, especially from Vietnam to Taiwan.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 35 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2008

Virginia Bodolica and Martin Spraggon

The purpose of this paper is to explore multiple cases of Moldovan women who individually initiated and involved in work arrangements with Italian employers. The main…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore multiple cases of Moldovan women who individually initiated and involved in work arrangements with Italian employers. The main purpose is to examine the international employment experiences of female migrants by identifying the challenges they face in a foreign country and building a comprehensive typology of female migrant workers.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical work consists of field notes gathered through direct observations and semi‐structured interviews conducted with five Moldovan women while they were still working in Italy. The content analysis of the interviews reveals how Moldovan workers perceive their foreign experience and the ways it influences their personal development.

Findings

The paper suggests that such brain mobility concepts as brain drain, brain waste and optimal brain drain represent the distinguishing characteristics of our interviewees who are citizens of a transitional economy. Imaginary trip, frustrating encounter, identity consolidation and self‐actualization are identified as four consecutive stages through which the self‐initiated migration experience develops over the time. The resulting variations in migrants' behaviours and mind‐sets create a typology of female workers based on their desperateness to migrate (planner vs despairer), their failure to tolerate the frustrating encounter (surrenderer), their attitudes towards personal development (conformist vs rejuvenator) and their ability to transcend their own limitations (highflyer). The paper describes the double identity strangeness along with other aspects which differentiate self‐initiated experiences from expatriate assignments.

Research limitations/implications

The use of a limited number of case studies prevents concluding whether and to what extent the findings apply to all female migrant workers from other transitional economies. This limitation could be clarified in a future study on larger samples of female respondents involved in self‐initiated employment arrangements in Italy or in other developed countries.

Practical implications

At the organizational level, the findings allow employers and human resource managers in the destination country to distinguish different types of migrant workers and better understand their particular needs in order to facilitate their intra‐firm integration.

Originality/value

Using a gender analysis highlighted in the international migration literature, this research makes a contribution towards creating a solid knowledge base on Moldovan migrant women – a widely underexplored group of migrant workers – and their involvement in labour market processes in Italy.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Book part
Publication date: 9 June 2011

Xin Tong

Purpose – The chapter explores how gendered division of labor shapes gender hierarchal relationships, inequality, social mobility, and labor solidarity of women and men…

Abstract

Purpose – The chapter explores how gendered division of labor shapes gender hierarchal relationships, inequality, social mobility, and labor solidarity of women and men workers in the small-scale restaurant industry in China.

Methodological approach – Thirty-four interviews with restaurant workers were conducted and a survey was taken.

Findings – Small-scale restaurants in China are patriarchal in structure that symbolizes a familial hegemonic regime. Labor is divided by gender, age and, to some extent, class with women concentrated in the lower positions. Most restaurant workers are young migrant women who come to the city to work before marrying and having children. Restaurant work is arduous: the hours are long and the wages are low. Women workers do not advance beyond the position of server, while men make use of social contacts and advance in status and wages. Because of kinship and village ties as well as divisions by age and gender, class solidarity cannot be achieved.

Value of the study – The chapter focuses on a topic that has been little studied. It furthers an understanding of intersectionality and inequality among food service workers in the context of China.

Details

Analyzing Gender, Intersectionality, and Multiple Inequalities: Global, Transnational and Local Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-743-8

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Migration Practice as Creative Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-766-4

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