Diasporic Dreams, Middle Class Moralities and Migrant Domestic Workers among Muslim Filipinos in Saudi Arabia

Johnson, Mark. 2010. Diasporic Dreams, Middle Class Moralities and Migrant Domestic Workers among Muslim Filipinos in Saudi Arabia. Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 11(3-4), pp. 428-448. ISSN 1444-2213 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper is about middle-class Muslim Filipinos in Saudi Arabia and their discourses about and relationships with migrant domestic workers. Saudi Arabia is not simply a temporary stopping point to a better future elsewhere, but is also a place where the middle-class aspirations of Muslim Filipinos may be realised and where their religious affiliations as Muslims may be seen as enhancing rather than detracting from those dreams and imaginings. As part of a large and diverse diasporic community, middle-class Filipinos routinely interact and socialise with working-class Filipinos. They often provide succour and support for their compatriots who labour under difficult and legally unprotected conditions. Some employ migrant domestic workers in their homes, many of whom are irregular or takas (escapees). At the same time, they reproduce and reinforce many of the gendered stereotypes of domestic workers that often suggest moral failings of one sort or another. The simultaneous embracing of and distancing from domestic workers reflects the anxieties of those, particularly women, whose tenuous hold of middle-class status is accomplished through, but also put at risk by, the precariousness of their sojourns abroad in the Kingdom.

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1 September 2010Accepted
24 November 2010Published

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Date Deposited:

15 Dec 2017 13:32

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:42

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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