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  • Author or Editor: Robyn Magalit Rodriguez x
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21st-Century Coolies?

Migrant workers around the world are subject to exploitative labor practices that give employers extraordinary bargaining power. This book brings together researchers, practitioners, and advocates who explore the many ways that contracted migrant workers are rendered vulnerable in the workplace. In this book, the term ‘21st-century coolie’ is deployed as a heuristic device that foregrounds the deeply unequal structures shaping the transnational flows of short-term, migrant workers. The term ‘coolie’ harkens back to the labor arrangements of earlier centuries that involved conscripted labor, indentured servitude, and contract labor across national borders. Like those of past centuries, today’s ‘coolies’ are subject to legal constraints inside and outside the employment relationship that force them into subjugated positions within the workplace.

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