Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143709
Title: “HERE” AND “THERE”: TRANSNATIONAL DOMESTIC WORKERS IN EVERYDAY HOUSEHOLD SUSTAINABILITY IN SINGAPORE
Authors: Sarah Koh Yung An
Keywords: Everyday Household Sustainability, Transnational Domestic Workers, Transnational Social Field, Semi-Structured Interviews, Singapore
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Sarah Koh Yung An (2015). “HERE” AND “THERE”: TRANSNATIONAL DOMESTIC WORKERS IN EVERYDAY HOUSEHOLD SUSTAINABILITY IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Efforts towards environmental sustainability are turning to the household scale as the environmental footprint of households is rising. Alongside this shift is the increasingly transnational household, such that domestic labour – and the concomitant consumption of water and energy – is increasingly undertaken by transnational domestic workers (TDW) in Majority World households. The objective of this thesis is two-fold. First, it hopes to address the empirical gap on studies of water and energy consumption in research on everyday household sustainability, and the TDW’s role in housework that consumes these resources. Second, it hopes to examine the TDW as inhabiting a transnational social field vacillating between her country of origin “there” and her receiving country “here”. Alongside scholars arguing for a paradigm shift away from a resource-based analysis in household sustainability research, I argue for a change in framing water and energy not as discrete resources but as resources that make possible practices and expectations of comfort, cleanliness, and convenience. Alongside scholars moving towards a transnational approach not bounded by the nation-state, I argue that transnationalism and bidirectional social remittances are integral in conceptualising a transnational social field within which the TDW is embedded, with an exchange of ideas and practices of resource usage and expectations of comfort and convenience. By focusing on the ways in which 13 TDWs from the Philippines and Indonesia perform housework “here”, this thesis interrogates how TDWs negotiate this transnational social field as they endure lower levels of comfort and convenience, bring over attitudes and behaviours from “there”, embrace new valuations of resources “here”, and exert agency over employers in their consumption of water and energy “here”. In examining the TDW’s transnational experiences in the household in Singapore, this thesis contributes towards efforts to develop the relatively nascent field of the geographies of everyday household sustainability.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143709
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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