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  • Author or Editor: Samia Dinkelaker x
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This article explores how Indonesian factory workers in Taiwan strive to regain control over time, space, meaning, and dignity in the face of their exploitation, precarity, and racialisation. Drawing on ethnographic insight, I investigate migrant workers’ subjective practices both inside and outside their workplaces. The major contribution to labour mobility regime analysis lies in conceptualising how migrant workers exert agency on an everyday level, beyond formal labour organising. The focus on the everyday brings me, on the one hand, to labour processes at different Taiwanese workplaces that employ migrant workers. On the other, it brings me to the sphere of daily reproduction, that is, time outside waged labour. The article speaks to the central concern of this themed issue, namely theorising the role of social reproduction within labour mobility regimes, as I address the inseparable spheres of production and reproduction as sites of control and agency. I show that, on the shopfloor, Indonesian migrant workers’ practices of regaining control often remain individualised. It is in the sphere of daily reproduction where Indonesian factory workers organise collectively. The workers’ practices are rich and creative, but at the same time they are ambiguous and can result in consent, compliance, or conflict with capital’s attempt to seek profit from migrant labour. Nevertheless, they reveal migrant workers’ interests and desires as well as a (subtle) refusal of their conditions and of the control over their work and lives. This refusal defies victimising representations of migrant labour and paternalistic approaches to migrant workers’ protection.

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