(Re)negotiating cultural and work identities pre and post-migration: Malaysian migrant women in Australia

Cynthia Joseph

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper draws on postcolonial feminist theory, and sociology of work and migration in understanding the ways in which identity practices of a group of Malaysian migrant women working in the Australian educational context are reworked under conditions of mobility. Malaysia is one of the main Southeast Asian source countries of migration to Australia. These women have migrated from the highly stratified, ethnicized and politicized Malaysian context to Australia, which is seen to be a a??westerna??, post-industrial, neo-liberal and capitalist society. In-depth interviews with this group of Malaysian migrant women show how they draw on multiple educational and cultural resources in the (re)making of their cultural and work identities. The analysis shows these women use essentialist definitions of cultural binaries to understand their transnational material realities. Yet at the same time, their identities are shaped by discourses of a dynamic and becoming self that extended beyond these stereotypes. The ways these women engage in on-going processes of interpretation, particularly in regard to re-negotiating social positions and boundaries, provides insights into the complexities of transnational identities in these globalizing times.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27 - 36
    Number of pages10
    JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Cite this