Today’s readings deal with transnational laborers and relevant qualities of the world and its globalized economy that have facilitated their being so.
The piece on the migrant Filipinas could hardly have painted a bleaker picture. My fellow primary reader below was able to find a “silver lining” in the piece. I found none: this is horrible and it made me cry. The part that most fed my despondency was where the “middle-tier” migrant worker relished the thought of essentially exploiting the poorer women back home, just as she had been, and that that was what she was struggling for. What a damning indictment of the world order this is — heart breaking stuff.
But there’s still more misery to discuss. Among the repercussions of this way things are, families are torn apart: mothers half a world away from their children — all causing untold emotional damage. It is so in the other piece as well about the Pakistani male migrant workers. There the men are torn away from their families. So, this globalization is tearing people apart — from themselves, their families, their home — the world over, causing massive social distortion. It’s pretty messy stuff.
The Junaid piece is much more of a historical expose’, detailing how colonial practices are still informing the present, providing some nifty historical context. And there is much contemporary context, too. He talks about how the Pakistani government suppresses labor unions, which contributes to this male working class being in constant flux. The motives and context of the Pakistani government’s actions is something I’d like to know more about. There are many more sordid details of which to speak, of course; we’ll get to them in class.