Cultural Mediation Through Vernacularization: Framing Rights Claims Through the Day-Off Campaign for Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore
Koh, Chiu Yee
Yeoh, Brenda S.A.
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Scholarship on civil society in Singapore has tended to emphasize the structural and institutional constraints on civil society space. Conversely, little attention is paid to the broader cultural and discursive realms in which civil society and state actors operate. This article seeks to address this gap by analysing the day?off campaign for migrant domestic workers in Singapore. We demonstrate that by employing the cultural mediation strategy of vernacularization, civil society was able to frame migrant rights claims in a manner that resonated with the institutional logics and cultural repertoire of Singapore society. Civil society actors gained headway by adapting the discourse on migrant rights to Singapore's socio?cultural and political context in three ways: by reframing rights claims into a moral appeal; by appealing to the cost?benefit logics of Singaporean employers of migrant domestic workers; and by situating the provision of migrant labour protections as a relative market position.
CitationKoh, C.Y., Wee, K., Goh, C. and Yeoh, B.S. (2017), 'Cultural mediation through vernacularization: framing rights claims through the day‐off campaign for migrant domestic workers in Singapore'. Int Migr, 55: 89-104. doi:10.1111/imig.12332
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