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Infrastructuralization: Evolving Sociopolitical Dynamics in Labor Migration from Asia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8145-2580
2018 (English)In: Pacific Affairs, ISSN 0030-851X, Vol. 91, no 4, p. 759-773Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the trend of “infrastructuralization” in state- sponsored programs of low- and semi-skilled labour migration from Asia. These programs increasingly focus on facilitating migration rather than generating actual opportunities for mobility and substantive development. While providing training to develop skills targeting speci c jobs in speci c countries, the programs generally leave complaints about actual working conditions and wages to be managed by the migrants themselves. In this process, labour migration programs are infrastructuralized, meaning that there is an ongoing expansion and intensi cation of the socio-technical platform that makes mobility possible, as facilitation becomes an end in itself. This trend is tied to changes in the general development paradigm, labour and state-citizen relations across Asia, as well as the increasing importance of brokers in facilitating connection. This article  rst probes a number of internal dynamics around which infrastructuralization unfolds in practice. We then highlight how commercial intermediaries and public institutions, the two key actors in infrastructuralization, shape migration by producing context-speci c migrant subjectivities, making aspirational work a central element of infrastructuralization. In the conclusion, we explore research agendas that can be developed further.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 91, no 4, p. 759-773
Keywords [en]
development, state-sponsored programs, training, aspiration, infrastructure, migration, Asia
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Asian Languages and Cultures
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-164519DOI: 10.5509/2018914759ISI: 000456162800006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-164519DiVA, id: diva2:1279575
Available from: 2019-01-16 Created: 2019-01-16 Last updated: 2019-03-04Bibliographically approved

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