Ethnic Dissent and Empowerment

Ethnic Dissent and Empowerment

Economic Migration between Vietnam and Malaysia

Studies of World Migrations

by Angie Ngoc Tran

Published by: University of Illinois Press

296 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm

  • ISBN: 9780252085277
  • Published: February 2021


Vietnam annually sends a half million laborers to work at low-skill jobs abroad. Angie Ngọc Trần concentrates on ethnicity, class, and gender to examine how migrant workers belonging to the Kinh, Hoa, Hrê, Khmer, and Chăm ethnic groups challenge a transnational process that coerces and exploits them. Focusing on migrant laborers working in Malaysia, Trần looks at how they carve out a third space that allows them a socially accepted means of resistance to survive and even thrive at times. She also shows how the Vietnamese state uses Malaysia as a place to send poor workers, especially from ethnic minorities; how it manipulates its rural poor into accepting work in Malaysia; and the ways in which both countries benefit from the arrangement.   A rare study of labor migration in the Global South, Ethnic Dissent and Empowerment answers essential questions about why nations export and import migrant workers and how the workers protect themselves not only within the system, but by circumventing it altogether.