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Title: Placing ‘Middling’ Transmigrants: The Spatial Stories of Foreign Teachers in Singapore’s Public Schools
Authors: Liew Jian An
Keywords: Middling Migration , Transnational Home , Foreign Teachers , Mobility , Workplace Micropolitics , Singapore Public Schools
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Liew Jian An (2016). Placing ‘Middling’ Transmigrants: The Spatial Stories of Foreign Teachers in Singapore’s Public Schools. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Part of the globalisation phenomenon involves an increasing number and also diversity of transmigrants – beyond simplistic categories of ‘elites’ and ‘underclass’ – crossing national borders while still maintaining multifarious social ties astride political, geographic and cultural boundaries. This paper thus concerns itself with exploring the biographies of ‘middling’ migrants through an empirical focus on the lives of ‘foreign teachers’ employed in Singapore’s public-sector schools. Their trajectories are varied and highly-mutable, encompassing reasons such as self-betterment, adventure and personal relationships. I first consider the different ways in which these transmigrants were incorporated into the labour market, paying attention to how their ‘in-between’ socioeconomic status affects their recruitment pathways and everyday workplace experiences. As they live in several communities simultaneously, notions of ‘home’ and its attendant associations – identity & belonging – are also being stretched out and reworked, prompting transmigrants to construct and reconstitute their pluri-local embeddedness in multiple ways. The second segment hence explores how these ‘middling’ migrants negotiate ideologies of home across borders, particularly on the strategies they adopt to counterpose their political transiency as non-citizens and how they evoke material structures to (re)enact place attachments. This thesis concludes with a quick discussion on the key claims presented. I posit that the interviewees contacted in this study can be described as paradoxically visible and vulnerable.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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