University of Tasmania
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Filipinos in Tasmania : a gendered analysis of diaspora and resistance

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posted on 2023-05-26, 22:37 authored by Clark, Juliet
This thesis investigates the experiences of Filipino women who have migrated from the Philippines to Tasmania, Australia. Commonly referred to as 'mail-order brides', the women discussed in this thesis have migrated to Australia for the purpose of marriage, usually after a process of letter writing and friendship. Utilising the theoretical sociology of Pierre Bourdieu and other postmodern theorists such as Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, this thesis argues that Filipino women in Tasmania do not regard themselves as 'victims', as suggested in many scholarly and media representations of 'mail-order brides'. Instead, based on the accounts of Filipino women living in Tasmania, this thesis provides new insights into the 'mail-order bride' phenomenon, questioning and challenging the many assumptions that are often made about their migration. The ultimate aim of this thesis is to provide alternative realities to the stereotypes of Filipino women married to Australian men. It will be argued that many of the Filipino women who migrate to Australia for marriage cannot be regarded as 'victims', but rather as autonomous agents: they often resist and challenge dominant social and gender regimes at various junctures in their lives. To provide a sense of social and historical depth to these arguments, this thesis will examine some of the cultural conditions in the Philippines that may influence Filipino migration to Australia. I explore how neo-colonialism in the Philippines has had both a positive and negative influence on Filipino women. I also examine some of the underlying structures of patriarchy in the Philippines in relation to ideology, sexuality and labour. In this section of this thesis, I utilise Bourdieu's theories of capital and empowerment to further understand the complexities of gendered migration to Australia. This thesis also engages with issues of identity within the context of multiculturalism and social divisions in Australia. I show how social policies on multiculturalism do not adequately account for the hybridity of interracial subjects such as Filipino women who migrate to Australia. Furthermore, this thesis offers a theoretical account of how Filipino women and their families are sites for the development and articulation of a hybrid identity.


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Copyright 2004 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.A.)--University of Tasmania, 2004. Includes bibliographical references

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