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Title: Labour Agency in Migration? The Family and its Long-Term Implications for Daily Labour Migrants
Authors: Rohini Anant
Keywords: labour agency, migration, family, histories, prospects
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Rohini Anant (2018). Labour Agency in Migration? The Family and its Long-Term Implications for Daily Labour Migrants. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In recent years, labour geography has begun to explore the labour agency of unorganised workers. However, little attention is paid to individual labour agency, in particular its alternative geographical configurations and relationship to the social reproductive sphere. Through in-depth interviews at the workplaces of Malaysian Indian women who commute to Singapore daily for work, I explore everyday migration as an agential strategy and examine the role of the family in variously enabling or constraining this agency. My study finds that in being able to manipulate the geographical proximity of Singapore and Johor Bahru to maintain a mobile work-life arrangement between the two cities, daily migration is an agential strategy that represents the individual’s command over space. However, there is much ambiguity over the labour agency ultimately enjoyed through migrating to Singapore because of the family’s role in shaping the migration experience and controlling the sense of freedom the individual enjoys in her employment. Notably, these relationships also stretch through time as they are determined by the past (family histories of education and work) and determine the future (long-term migration opportunities and prospects open to an individual). Therefore, my study proposes a spatial, social and temporal extension of labour agency theory.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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