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The Role of Ethnography in Studying Taiwan's Migrant Workers and the Broker System


講題 (Topic ) : "The Role of Ethnography in Studying Taiwan's Migrant Workers and the Broker System"
時間(Time): 2020年4月1日(週三)April 1 14:00-17:00
地點(Venue):國立交通大學人社二館106A教室(106A HA Building 2 ,NCTU)


講者:Dr. Sudarat  Musikawong (泰國瑪希敦大學副教授)
講者簡介(Speaker's Bio) :
Sudarat Musikawong is associate professor of sociology at the Institute for Population and Social Research at Mahidol University in Thailand.  She received her Ph.D. and MA in sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. As an ethnographer, Dr. Musikawong's work connects macro-socio-economic historical conditions, social political national circumstances, migration, and cultural production. Her long-term research goals are to develop methodologies and theoretical frameworks that provide connections between these often-divergent research agendas between the social sciences and humanities. Her publications include “On Thai Transnationalisms: Political and Economic Subjectivity,” Manusaya: Journal of Humanities (2009), with Chanchanit Martorell, “The Importanc)e of Ethnic Competency: Labor Trafficking, Thai Migrations, and the Thai Community Development Center,”...etc.

Moderator: Shu-fen Lin , Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies, NCTU.


簡介(Lecture Description):
The lecture is an informal discussion focused on methodology, primarily about the role of ethnography in the project "Broker & Employer Practices and Working Conditions Foreign Migrant Workers in Taiwan" (Qualitative Study- June 2019-November 2020). This project is still ongoing, in collaboration with faculty and researchers at Mahidol University/ IPSR, NCTU/ICCS and National Dongwa University, Department of Sociology. Taiwan’s formal international labor migration began in March 1989 when the government pursued fourteen large infrastructural projects like Highway 3, the MRT, which utilize the broker system to hire a majority of Thai workers, with Filipinos and Indonesians. That year Taiwan signed the Taiwan Beneficial Relations Act (1989), designating favorable import quotas for the Philippines. By 1992, the process of hiring foreign migrant workers in construction, industry, domestic caretaking, and fisheries sectors became more formalized (Chen, 2006). While after 2005, such infrastructural construction projects slowed, the demand for labor in personal care services, SME factories and both long-and short haul fisheries sectors increased. While some receiving countries like Thailand and South Korea have moved toward Government to Government direct hiring systems through MOU processes and government run migrant worker services, Taiwan continues to utilize the private broker industry (recently amended direct employer hiring), waranting more careful study of broker and employer practices.
These developments in Taiwan are rather public and can be followed in the news, but how do we study brokering as social practices. The talk will consider methodological challenges of accessing interviews with broker companies, developing trust with manpower agencies, employers, and migrant worker populations, as well as the demands of NGO/Union solidarity practices in research.
* Regarding the COVID-19, please make sure that you wear a mask before you enter into the lectures.  
*English Lecture (本次活動為英文演講)


國立交通大學暨台聯大文化研究國際中心、亞際文化研究國際碩士學位學程(台灣聯合大學系統)、交通大學社會與文化研究所、交通大學人文社會學系、TAIWAN FELLOWSHIP (MOE)。

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