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Title: Migrant Worker Housing Spaces in Singapore: A Case of Spatial (In)Justice?
Authors: Ng Yong Xiang
Keywords: migrant workers, spatial justice, production of space, segregation, containment, Singapore.
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Ng Yong Xiang (2015). Migrant Worker Housing Spaces in Singapore: A Case of Spatial (In)Justice?. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis seeks to understand how the appropriated housing spaces for migrant workers today are (re)produced through the wider social processes in Singapore, and implicated in the notion of spatial injustice. I first investigate how state discourse and responses towards public perceptions of migrant workers have shaped the geo-historical development of their primary form of housing spaces today. Showing the multi-scalar nature of these housing spaces, I conceptualise it as a space reflective of the ideas of segregation and containment, as reflected in the development of purpose-built dormitories within industrial areas. Through a fieldwork conducted in the Tuas industrial estate, the everyday experiences of resident migrant workers are investigated in relation to space. While findings reflect contentment among workers in the aspect of basic physical comfort, substantial discontentment relating to the issues of amenity provision, accessibility and location were raised. Through an analysis from a critical spatial perspective, the manifestations of injustice are shown to be intimately related to the segregation and containment tactics built into the production of housing spaces, and the housing spaces itself is shown to (re)produce injustice in the forms of domination and oppression. Hence, even as the state has invested efforts towards creating a positive living space for migrant workers through these spaces, I contend that the (re)production of migrant worker’s housing spaces today constitute a case of spatial injustice towards migrant workers, and is enmeshed within local and national level processes. Combining a stronger engagement with the right to the city for migrant workers and addressing injustices manifest at the local level is raised as a potential strategy towards attaining greater spatial justice for migrant workers.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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