Images of the migrant worker in Singapore’s mainstream news media: prospects for integration

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This chapter sets up a context-specific framework of stereotype analysis for assessing the prospects of ‘integrating’ migrant workers within Singapore society. The framework explores how they are represented – and how their representations are reproduced, circulated and transformed – in Singapore’s mainstream news media. In particular, the chapter analyses articles (news reports, readers’ letters and commentaries) published in the English-language press over a three-month period surrounding the announcement of the Singapore Budget 2011 in a general election year. The analysis locates, in these articles, stereotypes of low wage and unskilled or semi-skilled migrant workers, estimated to number 856,000 in 2009, who have been admitted on renewable short-term ‘R Pass’ work permits mainly for employment in the construction, hospitality, and services sectors (Solidarity for Migrant Workers, 2011, p. 1). The analysis also locates stereotypes of foreign domestic workers (FDWs) as a special class of these migrant workers who are entirely female, excluded from Singapore’s Employment Act and physically constrained for the most part of their lives in Singapore within the walls of their employers’ households. They are reported to number more than 201,000 in 2010 (Kor, 2011).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigration and Integration in Singapore
Subtitle of host publicationPolicies and Practice
EditorsYap Mui Teng, Gillian Koh, Debbie Soon
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781315794822
ISBN (Print)9781138014220, 9781138094956
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2014

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research On Public and Social Policy in Asia


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