Review of Women's Studies, Vol 21, No 2 (2011)

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Enacting Embeddedness through the Transnational Traffic in Goods: The Case of Ilonggo OFWs in Hong Kong

Clement C. Camposano

Abstract


This paper examines a transnational practice that re-inscribes migrant women in Hong Kong into the disempowering domestic spaces of home - the regular sending of door-to-door boxes packed tight with goods for loved ones - which however allows these very same women to simultaneously undermine structures of male domination at home. The practice thus acquires the character of what de Certeau (1984) calls a "guileful ruse," a tactical maneuver which allows participants to carve out spheres of relative autonomy within forms of gender domination that bind them to the process of social reproduction.
Data for this paper comes from multi-site fieldwork conducted between 2006 and 2008 in Hong Kong and in the Kinaray-a speaking municipality in Iloilo. This paper features five married migrant women and their respective households.