2016 | Vanessa Koh

Migrant labor flows amidst our contemporary era of globalization have been raising significant political, social and cultural issues worldwide. At a time when labor markets are becoming increasingly volatile and unstable, migrant “unskilled” workers have become dispensable units of the capitalist workforce. Drawing upon 3.5 months of ethnographic fieldwork and 91 interviews with migrant workers, NGO staff, employers, and bureaucrats in Singapore, this thesis examines the legal, social, and economical constraints that migrant workers confront everyday. In doing so, this project argues that the transnational labor economy does not only bring about remittances but also broken bodies.