Caring for Strangers: Filipino Medical Workers in Asia

$38.00 SGD

by Megha Amrith

Caring for Strangers explores the personal narratives, experiences and aspirations of Filipino medical workers living and working in Singapore and beyond. Today, the Philippines has become one of the largest exporters of medical workers in the world, with nursing in particular offering many the hope of a lucrative and stable career abroad. This timely volume narrates their stories in a multi-sited ethnography that follows aspiring migrants from Manila’s vibrant nursing schools, where they dream of glamorous, cosmopolitan lives abroad, to a different reality in Singapore’s multicultural hospitals and nursing homes. It also accompanies nurses’ off-duty activities in shopping malls and churches and their rich online lives, where they connect with friends and family around the world and search for future opportunities. Finally, Caring for Strangers follows them back home on a visit to a Filipino village. Mirroring migrants’ transnational lives, this book offers anthropological insights into the everyday experiences, anxieties and expectations of Filipino medical workers who care for strangers in a global Asian city. It locates their stories within wider debates on migration, labour, care, gender and citizenship, while contributing a new and distinctive perspective to the scholarship on labour migration in Asia.

"For the first time, the book offers insights into the life of Filipino medical practitioners working in foreign countries, particularly in Singapore. Megha Amrith, an Indian sociologist, has captured the rich tapestry of life of Filipino medical workers working abroad. It is a timely book given the media regarding the ill-treatment of foreign workers and captures a large demographic spread throughout the world. This book is a good read to all those interested in this segment of society, to Filipinos seeking to work abroad, and all those involved in the medical industry, especially with significant foreign worker cohorts." - Ulasan Buku, Akademika 87(2)

Megha Amrith is a Research Fellow at the United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility in Barcelona. She is an urban anthropologist of migration and has published on migrant labour, cultural diversity, care and citizenship in comparative contexts.

Publication year: 2017
240 pp / 229mm x 152mm
10 bw figures, 3 maps
ISBN: 978-87-7694-193-2, Paperback
ISBN: 978-87-7694-192-5, Hardback

NIAS Press