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Who Cares? Gender, Reproduction, and Care Chains of Burmese Migrant Workers in Thailand


  • Ruth Pearson
  • Kyoko Kusakabe


This study analyzes the challenges facing Burmese women factory workers in Thailand who seek to secure the daily reproduction of their labor power as well as the generational reproduction of their children. It illustrates how the reproduction of workers' labor is crucial for the social reproduction of a global economy in which migration is increasingly central to the changing contours of economic development and accumulation. Based on twenty-four months of research, which included life history interviews and survey responses obtained at three sites of factory production in Thailand, the study charts the complexities of Burmese migrant workers' transborder care strategies, as they manage their responsibilities to their children and natal families. Moreover, in analyzing the care burdens of migrant women employed in non-care sectors, this contribution expands the global care chain framework and adds to the understanding of the intersection of productive and reproductive work in contemporary globalization

Suggested Citation

  • Ruth Pearson & Kyoko Kusakabe, 2012. "Who Cares? Gender, Reproduction, and Care Chains of Burmese Migrant Workers in Thailand," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 149-175, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:18:y:2012:i:2:p:149-175 DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2012.691206

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Nguyen, Binh T. & Albrecht, James W. & Vroman, Susan B. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 2007. "A quantile regression decomposition of urban-rural inequality in Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 466-490, July.
    5. Jayachandran N. Variyam & David S. Kraybill, 1998. "Fringe Benefits Provision by Rural Small Businesses," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(2), pages 360-368.
    6. Jowett, M. & Contoyannis, P. & Vinh, N. D., 2003. "The impact of public voluntary health insurance on private health expenditures in Vietnam," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 333-342, January.
    7. Rand, John & Tarp, Finn & Cuong, Tran Tien & Tam, Nguyen Thanh, 2008. "SME Fringe Benefits Provision," MPRA Paper 29469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
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