"The Lottery of My life": Migration Trajectories and the Production of Precarity Among Bangladeshi Migrant Workers in Singapore's Construction Industry
Baey , Grace
Yeoh, Brenda S.A.
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Within the scholarship on precarity, low-waged contract-based migrants are recognized as centrally implicated in precarious employment conditions at the bottom of neoliberal capitalist labor markets. Precarity as a socially corrosive condition stems from both the multiple insecurities of the workplace as disposable labor, and a sense of deportability as migrant subjects with marginal socio-legal status in the host society. Our study of Bangladeshi construction workers in Singapore contributes to refining understandings of precarity by approaching labor migration as a cumulative, intensively mediated process, whereby risks and vulnerabilities are compounded across different sites in migrants' trajectories, even as they enact themselves as mobile, aspiring subjects. As a condition-in-the-making, precarity is experienced and compounded, through a continuum beginning in pre-migration indebtedness, multiplying through entanglements with the migration industry, and manifesting in workplace vulnerabilities at destination. It is most finely balanced when predictability and planning yield to arbitrary hope.
CitationBaey, G., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2018). "The lottery of my life": Migration trajectories and the production of precarity among Bangladeshi migrant workers in Singapore's construction industry. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 27(3), 249-272. https://doi.org/10.1177/0117196818780087
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