Publication Details

Lyons, LT, Embodying transnationalism: The making of the Indonesian maid, in E. Lorek-Jezinska & K. Wieckowska (eds) Corporeal inscriptions: Representations of the Body in Cultural and Literary Texts and Practices, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika (Nicolas Copernicus University Press), Torun, Poland, 2005, 171-185.


Extract: Female domestic workers are emblematic of the increasing movement of peoples across national borders. The global economic and cultural flows associated with transnational migration play a significant role in shaping the construction of gender in both sending and receiving countries by creating new forms of subjectivity and community, and destabilising traditional national boundaries. The interplay between local expressions of gender relations, and macro-level global processes, is central to the processes of nation-building and nationalism. This paper examines the material and discursive practices that produce foreign domestic workers as ‘symbolic border guards’ (Armstrong) between ‘here’ and ‘there’, between ‘us’ and ‘them’, within Singapore.