Vietnamese migrant clothing workers in Malaysia: global production, transnational labour migration and social reproduction
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The household in Southeast Asia is a site that provides the labour necessary for global production. And yet, under conditions of global restructuring many households have become worse off because of the way in which new employment opportunities for women have frequently been concentrated in labour-intensive, low-paid, feminized sectors of the economy. For transnational labour migrants, especially women from poor households, globalization has been experienced in terms of reconfigured household survival strategies. Globalization does not appear to offer much in the way of 'empowerment'. This chapter discusses unskilled Vietnamese migrant workers in the Malaysian clothing industry. The chapter points to how social relations of reproduction are being transformed through capital accumulation, neoliberal trade polides and transnational labour migration.