This book examines how language is a central resource in transforming migrant women into transnational domestic workers. Focusing on the migration of women from the Philippines to Singapore, the book unpacks why and how language is embedded in the infrastructure of transnational labor migration that links migrant-sending and migrant-receiving countries. It sheds light on the everyday lives of transnational domestic workers and how they draw on their linguistic repertoires, and in particular on English, as they cross geographical and social spaces. By showing how the transnational mobility of labor is dependent on the selection and performance of particular assemblages of linguistic resources that index migrants as labor and not as people, the book provides a powerful lens with which to examine how migration contributes to relationships of inequality and how such inequalities are produced and challenged on the terrain of language.
Beatriz P. Lorente is a Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Bern and a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Institute of Multilingualism at the University of Fribourg and the University of Teacher Education Fribourg.
1. Language and Transnational Domestic Workers 2. The Making of 'Workers of the World': Language and the Labor Brokerage State 3. Assembling the 'Supermaid': Language and Communication Skills for 'Vulnerable Occupations' 4. Marketing Domestic Workers: Maid Agencies in Singapore 5. The English-Speaking Other Looks Back 6. Translating Selves: The Trajectories of Transnational Filipino Domestic Workers 7. Conclusion Appendices References