Deirdre McKay, Reader, Keele University

Where mobile migrants meet subversive citizens: mapping the informal economy of care among Filipinos in in London

This paper unpacks the spatial strategies Filipino migrants arriving in London deployed to find work in the informal economy between 2009 and 2016. Building on my 2017 study, An Archipelago of Care (Indiana), it examines how migrants’ networks and mobility within the city intersected with their engagements with UK institutions including the Border Agency, the National Health Service, and churches. It then links these institutional encounters to more individual ties, exploring how and where non-citizen migrants built connections with the host nationals who I call ‘subversive citizens.’ It’s these individual ties which hold open the social space for informal work performed by non-citizens, creating a flourishing market for irregular carework. As migrants’ access to routes towards formal citizenship become limited, new spaces of exclusion and inclusion arise across the city.  This empirical account raises two questions for which I can offer answers-in-progress: What kinds of obligations and demands does this new stratification place on formal citizens and which demands do which groups recognise and why? And what does this increasingly complex spatial differentiation mean for our study actually-lived citizenship?

Deirdre McKay is Reader in Social Geography and Environmental Politics at Keele University. Her research draws on both social/cultural geography and social anthropology to explore people's place-based experiences of globalisation and development. The author of Global Filipinos (2012) and An Archipelago of Care (2016), much of her work has been conducted with people who originate in indigenous villages in the northern Philippines. Empirically, Deirdre is interested in the long-distance relations that connect outmigrants to their sending communities, changes in local livelihoods and the possibilities for locally sustainable, alternative economic development linked to migration as well as the kinds of social networks and relationships migrants build. To explore these themes, she deploys community arts methodologies and cultural economic approaches to understanding development.

To be followed by a film screening and discussion of ”Together Apart” (16.30–18.00)

Organised together with Forum for Asian Studies, Stockholm University.

Program för Forum för forskning om transnationell migration och CEIFO-seminarier höstterminen 2018.