Handbook on Critical Geographies of Migration
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Handbook on Critical Geographies of Migration

Edited by Katharyne Mitchell, Reece Jones and Jennifer L. Fluri

Border walls, shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, separated families at the border, island detention camps: migration is at the centre of contemporary political and academic debates. This ground-breaking Handbook offers an exciting and original analysis of critical research on themes such as these, drawing on cutting-edge theories from an interdisciplinary and international group of leading scholars. With a focus on spatial analysis and geographical context, this volume highlights a range of theoretical, methodological and regional approaches to migration research, while remaining attuned to the underlying politics that bring critical scholars together.
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Chapter 7: Corporeal geographies of labor migration in Asia

Brenda S.A. Yeoh, Kellynn Wee and Charmian Goh

Abstract

In the context of the Asia-Pacific, the corporeal geographies of migration are inflected by temporariness. The flexibilization of life and labor has led to low-waged migrants taking on the brunt of socially devalued work, particularly jobs which require demanding physical labor or the intimate care of others’ bodies. By centering corporeal geographies as an analytical lens, this chapter shows how understanding bodies as analytic and scale destabilizes binary ways of thinking, uncovers power operating at various scales, and foregrounds migrants’ experiences and desires. The authors review poststructuralist, feminist, and critical race approaches to corporeality, as well as conceptual work on emotional geographies and the ‘mobilities turn.’ They then turn to three broad themes to draw out the major contributions that corporeal geographies have made to our understandings of migration: migrant bodies and the politics of border control; migrant encounters, enclavement, and enclosure; and corporeal absence, mediated intimacy, and transnational family life. 

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