Renationalisation of space in everyday life in Singapore

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    As globalisation becomes more and more familiar in our everyday lives, one readily visible phenomenon is the increasing number of migrants from outside the borders of nation states. This influx of migrants inevitably makes societies more complicated racially and culturally, and a 'multi-racial' or 'multi-cultural' society is no longer the monopoly of migrant societies such as the United States or Australia. This spread of multi-racial and multi-cultural societies in the world, however, does not mean that we have achieved racial and cultural co-existence (among nationals, and needless to say between host society and migrants) without hierarchies. In the face of a constant flow of migrants, both the host states and host societies need to control migrants, to ensure that migrants will co-exist with the host society as the host society wishes. Hierarchy and difference need to be created and maintained by the host society to control the influx of migrants in their everyday life. This paper explores how Singapore society draws a border between itself and female migrant domestic workers. For this purpose, it examines both everyday discourses of Singaporean employers about female migrant domestic workers and the efforts of the Singapore Muslim Converts' Association to teach such workers to become 'good Muslims'.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)410-422
    JournalSocial Identities
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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