Presentation Title

Transnational Effects of Colonialism: The Identities of Filipina Caregivers in the U.S.

Presenter Information

Ashlee MontonFollow

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Linda Alvarez

Start Date

23-11-2019 9:15 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 9:30 AM

Location

Markstein 213

Session

oral 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

interdisciplinary

Abstract

Existing literature on Filipina women has discovered that a large percentage of this population are employed in personal care and service positions, of which, they are largely concentrated in caregiving positions (Ezquerra, 2007). The invisibility of these women and the lack of protections they have potentially feeds into a black market of caregiving positions (Ezquerra, 2007). Due to their precarious status, these women are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and various types of harassment. Despite these conditions, these women continue to work in such environments. While globalization certainly plays a role in this decision, this study explores the idea that colonial gender hierarchies are being reinforced through Philippine media, thus affecting the ways in which Filipina caregivers’ perceive their identities and their position in the caregiving work sector.

Given that the Philippines relies so heavily on this group’s foreign remittances, there is this blatant image of the maternal OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) portrayed in TV campaigns and advertisements. I argue that these messages may be strengthened by a historical colonial mentality that has idealized life abroad, and simultaneously, idealized the role of OFW’s. For this study, I conducted qualitative, semi-structured interviews with 20 current, and or retired Filipina caregivers who were born in the Philippines. Although I intended my age demographic to be dispersed, (18 and over) most of the respondents that I have gathered were within the 50-80 age range. Respondents were chosen through snowball sampling.

My study seeks to answer the following: To what extent does colonial mentality play a role in the Filipina caregiver’s formation of identity in the US? Does priming/propaganda exist through the messages that the Philippine media sends in idealizing the life of an OFW, and if so, does it affect how Filipina caregivers perceive their work? While there is subsequent literature on colonialism affecting Filipina nurses, there are few that consider the experiences of Filipina caregivers. Their perspectives matter because Filipina caregivers, I argue, encounter different experiences in comparison to Filipina nurses due to the informality of their work sector.

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Nov 23rd, 9:15 AM Nov 23rd, 9:30 AM

Transnational Effects of Colonialism: The Identities of Filipina Caregivers in the U.S.

Markstein 213

Existing literature on Filipina women has discovered that a large percentage of this population are employed in personal care and service positions, of which, they are largely concentrated in caregiving positions (Ezquerra, 2007). The invisibility of these women and the lack of protections they have potentially feeds into a black market of caregiving positions (Ezquerra, 2007). Due to their precarious status, these women are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and various types of harassment. Despite these conditions, these women continue to work in such environments. While globalization certainly plays a role in this decision, this study explores the idea that colonial gender hierarchies are being reinforced through Philippine media, thus affecting the ways in which Filipina caregivers’ perceive their identities and their position in the caregiving work sector.

Given that the Philippines relies so heavily on this group’s foreign remittances, there is this blatant image of the maternal OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) portrayed in TV campaigns and advertisements. I argue that these messages may be strengthened by a historical colonial mentality that has idealized life abroad, and simultaneously, idealized the role of OFW’s. For this study, I conducted qualitative, semi-structured interviews with 20 current, and or retired Filipina caregivers who were born in the Philippines. Although I intended my age demographic to be dispersed, (18 and over) most of the respondents that I have gathered were within the 50-80 age range. Respondents were chosen through snowball sampling.

My study seeks to answer the following: To what extent does colonial mentality play a role in the Filipina caregiver’s formation of identity in the US? Does priming/propaganda exist through the messages that the Philippine media sends in idealizing the life of an OFW, and if so, does it affect how Filipina caregivers perceive their work? While there is subsequent literature on colonialism affecting Filipina nurses, there are few that consider the experiences of Filipina caregivers. Their perspectives matter because Filipina caregivers, I argue, encounter different experiences in comparison to Filipina nurses due to the informality of their work sector.