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This paper theorizes the lives and working conditions of Filipina migrant domestic workers in Taiwan. To do so, I focus on the life stories of two migrant women—their struggles with exploitation and care, and their contradictory relationships with home and nation in transnational labor migration. These narratives detail crises of bodily sickness, racialized surveillance, and gendered violence across individual, social, and transnational scales, demonstrating the architecture of neoliberal globalization as a whole. These “embodied crises”—at once personal troubles and structural disasters—show how an overburdened care enforced through the labor of women of color violently affects their very own bodies, with ever-lasting consequences. Thus, using feminist analytic approaches of “critical bifocality” and “countertopography”, I argue that these narratives are not individual tragedies, but rather circulate across places, bodies, and time, crafting a structural critique of neoliberal globalization that demands fundamental social transformation.


This article was originally published in Women's Studies International Forum, available at DOI: 10.1016/j.wsif.2015.03.008



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