Migrant Philippine teachers in Indonesia: the nexus between precarious skilled Work, illegal mobility and the cosmopolitan
Eileen Yuk-ha TSANG and John LOWE
ABSTRACT This article examines the nexus between the illegal migration of Filipino teachers as a form of precarious skilled employment in conjunction with the mobility of choice and hope found in the adoption of cosmopolitan outlooks. Catering to the aspirations of Indonesia’s rising middle class, privately managed “international” schools actively recruit trained teachers from the Philippines. Many of these teachers are migrants negotiating journeys of financial independence. These migrant teachers often find themselves arriving in Indonesia being required to work in the absence of work visas that were initially promised by their employers. Migrant Philippine teachers working in Indonesia compensate for these “shocks” encountered during their employment by cultivating a sense of cosmopolitan sociability as they aspire to utilize their professional and cultural experiences in Indonesia for better employment opportunities beyond Indonesia.
KEYWORDS: Philippines; Indonesia; migrant teachers; precarious work; cosmopolitanism; choice versus constraint
Notes on contributors
Eileen Yuk-ha Tsang is Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at the City University of Hong Kong. She completed her doctorate in sociology from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. Her research interests include the sociology of the middle class, the sociology of gender and sexualities, globalization and cultural sociology. She is the author of The New Middle Class in China: Consumption, Politics and the Market Economy (Palgrave 2014) and Understanding Chinese Society: Changes and Transformations (World Scientific Press 2015). She has also published in The China Quarterly, Higher Education, Deviant Behavior, Psychology of Violence, Asian Journal of Social Science, China: An International Journal, and Sociological Research Online.
John Lowe is Senior Research Associate in the City University of Hong Kong. He has published in the area of masculinities and gender (with Mairtin Mac an Ghaill and Chris Haywood), race, ethnicity, multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism in Patterns of Prejudice, Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, Asian Journal of Social Science, and Inter-Asia Cultural Studies.