Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2021.1921238
Title: Ties that bind, lines that divide: Bangladeshi labour migrants, Malaysian spouses, and the new contours of racialization
Authors: Heng Leng Chee 
Brenda Yeoh 
Wan Teng Lai
Keywords: Bangladeshi labour migrants
Intermarriage
intersectional
Malaysia
racialization
racism
Issue Date: 28-May-2021
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Heng Leng Chee, Brenda Yeoh, Wan Teng Lai (2021-05-28). Ties that bind, lines that divide: Bangladeshi labour migrants, Malaysian spouses, and the new contours of racialization. Ethnic and Racial Studies 45 (4) : 677-696. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2021.1921238
Abstract: We investigate the racialization of a migrant “other” centred, not on phenotype, but on nationality, in the context of Malaysia, an ethnically diverse host society. Our case study comprises Bangladeshi male labour migrants who, as transient low-skilled workers, face restrictions in pursuing marriage and entrepreneurship. As Muslims, these Bangladeshi migrants draw on their co-religious congruence with the Malay-Muslim majority to traverse these restrictions, gaining a degree of success in marrying Malaysian women and becoming entrepreneurs. Drawing from narratives of the migrants and their citizen spouses, we examine how they take advantage of their intersectional positioning at the nexus of race, religion, and nationality to overwrite racialization and navigate national anxieties. Leveraging marriage and entrepreneurship, the migrants and spouses draw on and re-interpret existing racial discourses in their mutual pursuit of social mobility. While these partnerships may be socioculturally contentious, they are nevertheless economically interdependent, opening up space for countering racisms.
Source Title: Ethnic and Racial Studies
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/215737
ISSN: 0141-9870
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2021.1921238
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