Anju Paul presents her paper 'Migrant negotiations/negotiating migration: A gendered variation on the new economics of labour migration' in Parallel session II(C) of the conference Examining Migration Dynamics: Networks and Beyond, 24-26 Sept 2013
The new economics of labor migration theory has been frequently criticized for ignoring the gendered social norms and inequitable intra-household power distribution that make it difficult for prospective independent female labor migrants to leave their homes to work overseas. And yet increasing numbers of independent women labor migrants leave countries in the Global South every year. Interviews with 142 Filipina migrant domestic workers located in Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Canada, and the United States, reveal that prospective female migrants initially develop an individual-level aspiration to migrate and then have to negotiate with family members to secure these relatives' support for their migration decision. They win their family's approval by agentically manipulating gendered scripts in Philippine society. A multilevel model of the migration decision-making process that distinguishes between migration aspirations and migration negotiations is proposed to incorporate these findings.