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|Ties that Bind: State Policy and Migrant Female Domestic Helpers in Singapore
|Huang, S., Yeoh, B.S.A. (1996). Ties that Bind: State Policy and Migrant Female Domestic Helpers in Singapore. Geoforum 27 (4) : 479-493. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0016-7185(96)00023-1
|Global economic restructuring has not only intensified the shift in reproductive work from the household to the market, but it has been predicated on the international mobility of labour to countries where locals are no longer willing to work in low-paying menial jobs. This paper focuses on Singapore as a country which has drawn upon female migrant workers from neighbouring developing countries to work as domestic helpers in Singapore such that the gainful entry of its own women into the formal economy has been facilitated. Drawing upon a range of secondary sources as well as field data, the paper demonstrates how state policies on labour migration in Singapore have played a crucial role in influencing the uneven employer-employee relationships that migrant female domestic helpers in Singapore households find themselves in. More generally, it argues that the availability of foreign domestic helpers in Singapore and the state discourse on the issue has contributed to perpetuating the patriarchal ideology of housework as women's work and of housework as non-work. Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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