This book explores the migration processes and experiences
of female labour migrants from Indonesia to Malaysia’s
manufacturing sector. Their stories depict labour migration as
a process shaped by the intersection of external, structural forces and
individual desires and motivations.
Labour migration was valued and evaluated as an “investment”,
one that was calculated not only in terms of financial security but also
in relation to personal rewards and experiences unavailable to them
at home. These labour migrants negotiated a number of externally
imposed demands and conditions, ranging from migration regulations,
the challenges of settlement in a new city, factory floor relations, and
the negative stereotypes attached to female Indonesian migrant workers
in Malaysia. Such constraints did not simply result in their sense of
victimisation, as the interviews revealed the women’s capacity to resist,
negotiate and comply with such factors.
The book distinguishes between two groups of migrants:
inexperienced, first-time migrants and experienced repeat migrants.
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