Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143821
Title: UNRAVELLING ‘IN-BETWEENNESS’: HOMEMAKING EXPERIENCES AND EMOTIONAL GEOGRAPHIES OF FILIPINO MIDDLING TRANSMIGRANTS IN SINGAPORE
Authors: Lizaso Kaori Elle Balisi
Keywords: emotional geographies, home, materiality, middling migration, migration trajectories, transnationalism
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Lizaso Kaori Elle Balisi (2017). UNRAVELLING ‘IN-BETWEENNESS’: HOMEMAKING EXPERIENCES AND EMOTIONAL GEOGRAPHIES OF FILIPINO MIDDLING TRANSMIGRANTS IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: While most scholarship on transnationalism have focused on elites or low-skilled workers, scholars have recently started paying attention to migrants who fall ‘in-between’ – middling transnational migrants. Through an empirical study of Filipino ‘middling’ transnational migrants in Singapore, a country which hosts one of the highest proportions of migrant labour in Asia, this thesis aims to contribute to this burgeoning field in three ways. Firstly, it determines middling migrants’ motivations in moving to Singapore and their possible migration trajectories. Secondly, it explores what the materiality of middling migrants’ home-spaces in Singapore can reveal about their identities. Thirdly, it examines Filipino middling migrants’ emotional geographies of home in Singapore. In so doing, this thesis supplements existing gaps in transnationalism scholarship regarding less-studied migrant groups, and is an attempt to use critical geography and relationality to develop a more nuanced and holistic understanding of middling migrant subjectivities and sense of home. In-depth semi-structured interviews conducted with eight Filipino and eight Filipina middling migrants living in Singapore inform this study. The distinctiveness of this migrant category required that interviewees were chosen for their middle-class status in the Philippines (origin country) and in Singapore (host country), which was inferred from their work visa categories of either S Pass, Employment Pass, or Singapore Permanent Resident. Additionally, it was ensured that respondents hailed from diverse backgrounds to have a more holistic view of middling migrants’ experiences. What became apparent in this thesis is that Filipino middling transnationals’ trajectories are complex and intersected by their aspirations, class, ethnic identities, familial/social relations, emotions, and Singapore’s labour migration policies. Moreover, the factors their trajectories are relational and have spatial impacts – affecting their sense of belonging and creating ambivalence in their conceptions of nation-as-home and house-as-home. Nevertheless, I argue that Filipino ethnic values and culture allow middling migrants to negotiate the opportunities/constraints arising from their in-betweenness, and help them reconcile the uncertainty of their feelings/meanings of home.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/143821
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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