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

Lok Sun Lucille NGAN, Kam Wah CHAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

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

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

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