This paper is mainly focused on labor migration from Southeast Asia to Taiwan, showing a route of south–south mobility and discussing the causes of migrant workers in Taiwan, the issues faced by migrant workers as well as public response to migrant workers.Design/methodology/approachBesides a literate review on the topic of migrant worker researches in Taiwan, the data for this research was also based on qualitative interviews and observations conducted both in the fieldwork in Taiwan and in Indonesia between June and August during the summer of 2018.FindingsThe transnational mobility let many migrants from Southeast Asian countries to Taiwan end up losing their cultural capital and “make money” instead. For these migrants, they have experienced a downward social mobility of class through transnational mobility.Research limitations/implicationsBecause of the chosen research approach, the research results may lack generalizability. More migrant laborers from various origin countries were encouraged to include for further research.Practical implicationsLabor migration cases from Southeast Asia to Taiwan could very well serve as good examples in the carrying out of a reflection on the limit of focusing on social science only inside nation-states in order to push a forward thinking on the transnationalization of social inequality.Originality/valueThis paper calls attention to the close linkage between transnational mobility and social inequality. It showed how the transnationalization of social inequality could get new faces through the new waves of labor migration.
Asian Education and Development Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 23, 2020
Keywords: Labor migration; Southeast Asia; Taiwan; South–south mobility