Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



The constantly increasing demand of domestic workers in developed and newly industrialized countries had prompted many women of less developed countries migrating to engage in transnational domestic work. Among these newly industrialized countries (NICs) in Asia, Taiwan is one of them with burgeoning market of domestic work. In 2019, Taiwan accommodated 261,457 foreign domestic workers. Indonesian, Filipino, and Vietnamese women constitute the three major groups of the population. Compare to their counterparts in other host countries in Asia such as Hong Kong and Singapore, migrant domestic workers in Taiwan were understudied. This research was committed to explore the experiences of migrant domestic workers in Taiwan. Drawn on in-depth interviews and participant observations, it was found that foreign domestic workers made crucial effort to negotiate the control and surveillance of their employers in the context of restrictive policies, laws, and regulations in relation to foreign domestic workers. The agency of women migrant workers was simultaneously exercised in their negotiations to the daily difficulties they encountered in different phases of migration process. Migrant domestic workers displayed they were active actors in locating overseas employment, resisting the control and discipline of their employers, benefiting from their familial-like relationships with their employers, and securing their intimate relationships in Taiwan.



Committee Chair

Berkowitz, Dana A.