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Global Diversities

Class Inequality in the Global City

Migrants, Workers and Cosmopolitanism in Singapore

Authors: Ye, J.

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eBook $79.99
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-43615-3
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  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $100.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-43614-6
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About this book

In striving to become cosmopolitan, global cities aim to attract highly-skilled workers while relying on a vast underbelly of low-waged, low status migrants. This book tells the story of one such city, revealing how national development produces both aspirations to be cosmopolitan and to improve one's class standing, along with limitations in achieving such aims. Through the analysis of three different groups of workers in Singapore, Ye shows that cosmopolitanism is an exclusive and aspirational construct created through global and national development strategies, transnational migration and individual senses of identity. This dialectic relationship between class and cosmopolitanism is never free from power and is constituted through material and symbolic conditions, struggles and violence. Class is also constituted through 'the self' and lies at the very heart of different constructions of personhood as they intersect with gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity and nationality.

About the authors

Junjia Ye is Lecturer in Human Geography at Massey University, New Zealand. She has published writings on cultural diversity, critical cosmopolitanism, class and gender studies. Alongside extensive ethnographic research methods, she also uses techniques of film and photography to create visual narratives through her work. She was previously Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany.

Reviews

"This book illustrates the way class as a social and economic category is constituted through a strategic migrant division of labour in the global city. While Bangladeshi construction and marine workers labour under precarious conditions of enforced temporariness to replenish Singapore's underclass, Johoreans entering Singapore on daily commutes engage in low-paid service work in fashioning mobile selves and reformulating class subjectivities. At the same time, professional migrants in the financial sector from more privileged positions negotiate the limits and possibilities of cosmopolitan cultures in the workplace. Policy frameworks and human aspirations interact in perpetuating class inequality as a fundamental aspect of globalizing cities." - Brenda Yeoh, National University of Singapore, Singapore

"At a time of unprecedented global inequalities, Class Inequality in the Global City offers a compelling account of how material and social inequalities are produced at the intersection of global economies, labor migration, and locally grounded class subjectivities, relations and aspirations. Drawing on extended ethnographic research with differently secure and precarious groups of migrant workers, Ye's analysis teases out how the socio-political dynamics of class and cosmopolitanism in Singapore connect to broader processes and geographies. This book's relational approach to theorizing how labor migration and markets, national state aspirations and policies, and workers' diverse class identities, subjectivities, and aspirations express in place yet are always also embedded in the processes/relations that make a 'global' city is deeply important for critical scholars interested in contemporary urban development politics, global economies, labor migration, and relational approaches to poverty and inequality." - Sarah Elwood, University of Washington, USA
"This book illustrates the way class as a social and economic category is constituted through a strategic migrant division of labour in the global city. While Bangladeshi construction and marine workers labour under precarious conditions of enforced temporariness to replenish Singapore's underclass, Johoreans entering Singapore on daily commutes engage in low-paid service work in fashioning mobile selves and reformulating class subjectivities. At the same time, professional migrants in the financial sector from more privileged positions negotiate the limits and possibilities of cosmopolitan cultures in the workplace. Policy frameworks and human aspirations interact in perpetuating class inequality as a fundamental aspect of globalizing cities." - Brenda Yeoh, National University of Singapore, Singapore

"At a time of unprecedented global inequalities, Class Inequality in the Global City offers a compelling account of how material and social inequalities are produced at the intersection of global economies, labor migration, and locally grounded class subjectivities, relations and aspirations. Drawing on extended ethnographic research with differently secure and precarious groups of migrant workers, Ye's analysis teases out how the socio-political dynamics of class and cosmopolitanism in Singapore connect to broader processes and geographies. This book's relational approach to theorizing how labor migration and markets, national state aspirations and policies, and workers' diverse class identities, subjectivities, and aspirations express in place yet are always also embedded in the processes/relations that make a 'global' city is deeply important for critical scholars interested in contemporary urban development politics, global economies, labor migration, and relational approaches to poverty and inequality." - Sarah Elwood, University of Washington, USA

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction: Globalizing Class, Migration and Divisions of Labour in the City-State

    Ye, Junjia

    Pages 1-15

  • Researching Inequality in the Global City

    Ye, Junjia

    Pages 16-26

  • Situating Class in Singapore: State Development and Labour

    Ye, Junjia

    Pages 27-57

  • Migrating to Singapore: Bangladeshi Men

    Ye, Junjia

    Pages 58-92

  • Commuting to Singapore: Johorean Malaysians

    Ye, Junjia

    Pages 93-117

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-43615-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $100.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-43614-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Class Inequality in the Global City
Book Subtitle
Migrants, Workers and Cosmopolitanism in Singapore
Authors
Series Title
Global Diversities
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-43615-3
DOI
10.1057/9781137436153
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-43614-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 193
Topics