Special Issue Paper
Becoming a Migrant at Home: Subjectivation Processes in Migrant-Sending Countries Prior to Departure
Article first published online: 17 APR 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Population, Space and Place
Special Issue: Migration, Development and the ‘Migration and Development Nexus’
Volume 19, Issue 4, pages 375–388, July/August 2013
How to Cite
Rodriguez, R. M. and Schwenken, H. (2013), Becoming a Migrant at Home: Subjectivation Processes in Migrant-Sending Countries Prior to Departure. Popul. Space Place, 19: 375–388. doi: 10.1002/psp.1779
- Issue published online: 4 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 17 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 NOV 2012
Labour emigration is not merely the business of states and governmental policies, but comes with a range of wider societal practices. This includes the production of – and contestation over – the ‘ideal migrant subject’. This paper examines the complex interplay of actors and practices involved in migrant subject-making processes paying close attention to the pre-employment temporary labour migration process step by step from screening, recruitment, pre-departure training up to employment-matching. It asks how prospective migrants are transformed into ‘ideal’ migrant subjects. This contribution primarily draws from data from the Philippines and India. It is argued that migrants actually become migrants before they ever leave their home country: Labour-sending states set the regulatory frameworks and co-produce ‘ideal migrant subjects’ from which other social actors draw or contest. In contrast to most studies on the governance of labour migration, the authors highlight the role of subject formation as an important element of modern migration management. To the scholarship that actually takes into account subjectivation processes, this paper adds material both on the labour-sending state as well as on non-state actors. The paper, moreover, draws out subject-making from previous studies where it is less central and more implicit. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.