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Labour migration, remittances and development in the Myanmar-Singapore corridor

Ma, Alex Khai Sun; (2019) Labour migration, remittances and development in the Myanmar-Singapore corridor. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores the impacts of labour migration on development in Myanmar. The central ambition of this thesis is to challenge existing work on the ‘migration-development nexus’ by analysing the context-specific factors that structure and effect particular ‘outcomes’ of migration. In particular, I pay attention to the role of migration pathways, intermediaries, household structures, and migration policy in producing particular types of migrants. To do this, I adopted a ‘follow the people’ and ‘follow the thing’ methodology, which relied on survey (n=459) and interview (n=71) data. Both involved Burmese migrant workers across the income spectrum, but interviews were also conducted with key stakeholders, such as remittance recipients in Yangon, Myanmar, employment agents, multilateral organisations, and non- governmental organisations. This multi-sited methodology allowed me to track migratory and remittance-sending practices across space, grounding findings in verbal reconstructions of pre- migration livelihoods, everyday practices of migrants in Singapore, and finally through remittances back to the household in Myanmar. Using Bourdieu’s theory of practice to dissect migrant and household behavioural drivers, this thesis demonstrates how the relationship between migration and development is not straightforward but results from dynamic livelihood strategies and demands. Issues around employment rights in Singapore, social protection in Myanmar, household cultures of filial piety, and communal structures of risk-sharing and donation are particularly salient. I found that migration and remittances do have a positive effect on households, but they fail to address underlying livelihood constraints. In turn, this thesis contributes to an emergent literature on migration, precarity and temporality.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Labour migration, remittances and development in the Myanmar-Singapore corridor
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081697
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