Discussant: Mark Johnson, Goldsmiths College, University of London

“Multinational” mobility is not restricted to the global elite. Drawing upon surveys with more than 1,000 Filipino and Indonesian migrant domestic workers in Singapore and Hong Kong, and in-depth interviews with well over 200 of these workers in Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Canada, and the United States, Anju Paul documents how some migrant domestic workers are agentically adopting stepwise international labor migration as part of long-term mobility projects for themselves and their families. In her talk, Dr Paul lays out the building blocks that have led to the emergence of this global phenomenon, highlighting similar patterns of stepwise migration among other migrant groups, including migrant nurses, IT professionals, foreign academics, and international students.

Anju Mary Paul is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at Yale-NUS College, Singapore. She is an international migration scholar with a research focus on migration to, from, and within Asia. She is especially interested in how gender, labour, race and ethnicity, as well as class, intersect at the moment of migration and the post-migration experience. Her research spans the migrations of low-wage Asian migrant domestic workers as well as high-skilled Asian-born, Western-trained bioscientists. She has published sole-authored articles in several journals, including the American Journal of SociologySocial ForcesMigration StudiesEthnic and Racial Studies, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Her books include Multinational Maids (Cambridge University Press 2017) and Local Encounters in a Global City (Ethos Books 2017).

The seminar is co-arranged by the Forum for Asian Studies, Forum for Transnational Migration, and CEIFO, Stockholm University.