Bangladeshi Construction Workers and the Politics of (Im)mobility in Singapore
Yeoh, Brenda S.A.
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The most iconic image of the foreign construction worker in Singapore's popular imagination is a figure perilously secured by safety harnesses atop a half completed high-rise building. However, we argue that an understanding of the labour process involved in fashioning the migrant worker is predicated on a more expansive understanding of the politics of (im)mobility. In other words, the labour process is not simply secured in the workplace of the construction site but is linked to the politics of mobility and immobility across different spaces in the host nation-state and beyond. Drawing on a mixed-methods study of Bangladeshi construction workers in Singapore, we discuss three interrelated themes: (a) the time-structuring mechanisms of the migration regime; (b) spaces of enclavement, exception, and enclosure; and (c) the governing of time discipline.
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