"The edited volume by Sara L. Friedman and Pardis Mahdavi provides rich and nuanced accounts of the intricate and often precarious circumstances fallen into by many migrant women. It also sheds light on the unusual but innovative measures they come up with to counteract the difficulties they meet in foreign lands."—PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology ReviewMigrant Encounters examines what happens when migrants across Asia encounter both the restrictions and opportunities presented by state actors and policies, some that leave deep marks on migrants' own life trajectories and others that produce fragmentary, uneven traces. With a focus on those who migrate to perform intimate labor—domestic, care, and sex work—or whose own intimate and familial lives are redefined through migration, marriage, and sometimes parenthood, this volume argues that such encounters transform both migrants and the states between which they move.
Written by an international group of anthropologists, sociologists, and geographers, these essays offer richly detailed and insightful accounts of the intimate consequences of migration and the transformative effects of migrant-state encounters across Asia. Addressing a range of topics from the fate of children born to unmarried migrant mothers to the everyday negotiations of cross-border couples and migrant domestic workers, the contributors situate themselves at various points along the extensive migration routes that extend from northeast Asia all the way to the Gulf region. The authors draw on ethnographic research and policy analysis to illustrate the texture of migrants' interactions with state actors and forces. From a range of perspectives, they explore what these encounters teach us about migrant agency and the workings of state power in a region now rife with diverse forms of cross-border mobility.
Contributors: Heng Leng Chee, Nicole Constable, Sara L. Friedman, Hsiao-Chuan Hsia, Mark Johnson, Hyun Mee Kim, Pardis Mahdavi, Filippo Osella, Nobue Suzuki, Christoph Wilcke, Brenda S. A. Yeoh.
Sara L. Friedman is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at Indiana University. She is author of Exceptional States: Chinese Immigrants and Taiwanese Sovereignty and coeditor of Wives, Husbands, and Lovers: Marriage and Sexuality in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Urban China.
Pardis Mahdavi is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Pomona College. She is author of Gridlock: Labor, Migration and Human Trafficking in Dubai and From Trafficking to Terror: Constructing a Global Social Problem.