Changing ties, ambivalent connections: mobilities and networks of Filipinos in London and New York metropolitan areas

Cases, Rizza Kaye (2018) Changing ties, ambivalent connections: mobilities and networks of Filipinos in London and New York metropolitan areas. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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The role of social networks in creating and sustaining migration flows, as well as in the adjustment and settlement of migrants, has long been recognized in migration studies. However, cross-fertilization between migration research and network approaches is still uncommon. Utilizing a mixed-method network approach, this study contributes in furthering the understanding of how migrant networks operate. Migrant networks are conceptualized as embedded in dynamic and changing systems, and shown as evolving depending on various contexts and situations. Examined are ego-centric networks of the 134 respondents (58 in London and 76 in New York) in three migration phases: before coming to London or New York; initial period of adjustment; and the current network as a result of the subsequent process of settlement in the place of destination (in total, 402 network maps). In particular, compared are three different occupational groups – nurses, domestics, and care workers. Conceptually dividing the migration process in three phases provided the opportunity to study network dynamics and networking practices, albeit retrospectively. Eliciting migrant networks was embedded within in-depth interviews using both electronic and paper-based network visualization. The findings suggest contrasting network composition in two global cities and across the three occupational groups. In New York, familial ties play an almost exclusive role in facilitating and supporting the movement of Filipino migrants. In London, most of the research participants relied on former employers (in the case of domestic workers) or recruitment agencies (in the case of nurses and care workers in institutional facilities) to facilitate their move. These differences in pre-migration networks then shaped subsequent network formations, adjustments, and settlement experiences. Findings also illustrate that although networks have supportive influence on facilitation of the move and post-migration settlement, familial and co-ethnic ties can also be exploitative to the newly-arrived and undocumented migrants. Situating the particular cases in macro-level context, the study explores how the narratives of attaining the good life through overseas work are interconnected to the need and demand for care labor in the US and the UK as well as the Philippine state-led marketization of high-quality workers as an export commodity.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Sociology and Social Research (within the School in Social Sciences, till the a.y. 2010-11)
PhD Cycle:29
Subjects:Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali
Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/07 SOCIOLOGIA GENERALE
Repository Staff approval on:25 Jun 2018 12:53

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