cover of book

Ethnic Dissent and Empowerment: Economic Migration between Vietnam and Malaysia
by Angie Ngoc Tran
University of Illinois Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-0-252-04336-9 | Paper: 978-0-252-08527-7 | eISBN: 978-0-252-05224-8
Library of Congress Classification HD8700.6.T74 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 331.62595

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 Chãm 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.

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