Racialised sexualities: the case of Filipina migrant workers in East Malaysia
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In national narratives of ‘Malayness’, a specific language (Malay) and religion (Islam) have become key aspects of an identity that excludes migrants and those of ‘questionable’ sexualities. Consequently Filipina migrants working in the nightlife industries in East Malaysia have been subjected to disciplinary discourses of ethnicity and sexuality that underpin these national narratives. Attempts to tighten migration laws and curb nightlife activities have resulted in a racialisation of Filipina migrant sexualities. Using ethnographic methods, this article explains the impacts of dominant state and public discourses of migration, ethnicity and gender, which Filipinas encounter in their everyday lives in their destination country. In the process the article also reveals how Filipinas resist these discourses and hence participate in the formation of their subjectivity.
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