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Fleeting joy, divergent expectations and reconfigured intimacies: The visits home of Filipino migrant care workers in Singapore

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Amrith,  Megha       
Research Group Ageing in a Time of Mobility, MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Amrith, M. (2022). Fleeting joy, divergent expectations and reconfigured intimacies: The visits home of Filipino migrant care workers in Singapore. Global Networks, 1-15. doi:10.1111/glob.12394.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-CBA1-B
Abstract
For Filipino migrant care workers in Singapore, visits home are highly anticipated and longed for, but only as long as they remain brief. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research, this paper examines such visits as emotionally complex events that bring intense joy as migrants reunite with dispersed family members, but also reveal divergent expectations and feelings of loss and betrayal. These experiences are especially felt among migrant women given the gendered constructions of their migration journeys that demand strenuous relational work on their visits and far beyond. Visits home, nevertheless, are important moments through which migrant care workers re-orient their priorities and aspirations as migrants and as women over time, often leading to prolongations of their ‘temporary’ absences. The paper further examines how migrant care workers, many of whom are on temporary work contracts in Singapore, fear and anticipate the moment when short visits ultimately become permanent returns.