An outsider is always an outsider: Migration, social policy and social exclusion in East Asia

Lok Sun Lucille NGAN, Kam Wah CHAN

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The dynamics of social exclusion and inclusion of certain groups of citizens and migrant workers is a complex and multi-dimensional process, which is shaped by institutional frameworks as well as informal practices. While some of these frameworks are justified by economic rationality, migrants with low socio-economic background are often excluded from aspects of labour and social protection, therefore reinforcing hegemonic ideas about “insiderness” and “outsiderness”. This paper argues that how readily government-enforced policies embrace migrants is crucial to the reinforcement of social stratification. Specifically, the article examines the immigration, labour and social security policies aimed at low-skilled migrant workers in Seoul and Taiwan, low-skilled cross-border migrants in Hong Kong and rural to urban migrants in Beijing. It highlights how policies veer towards the exclusionary when targeted towards low-income migrant groups from Southeast and East Asia, which manifest racial discrimination against them. The accumulation effect of their disadvantaged status has a detrimental impact on both migrant workers' quality of life and cohesion of society as a whole. Copyright © 2013 City University of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-350
JournalThe Journal of Comparative Asian Development
Volume12
Issue number2
Early online dateJun 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

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exclusion
migrant
migration
migrant worker
labor
social stratification
security policy
social security
group cohesion
reinforcement
government policy
racism
rationality
economics
Hong Kong
Taiwan
immigration
quality of life
low income
Group

Citation

Ngan, L. L.-S., & Chan, K.-W. (2013). An outsider is always an outsider: Migration, social policy and social exclusion in East Asia. The Journal of Comparative Asian Development, 12(2), 316-350.

Keywords

  • Migration
  • Social exclusion
  • Marginalization
  • Social policy
  • Labour policy
  • Social stratification
  • Social security
  • Social assistance
  • Low-skilled migrants
  • Cross-border migrants
  • Internal migrants
  • Outsider
  • East Asia
  • Hong Kong
  • Beijing
  • Seoul
  • Taipei