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Thai wives in Singapore and transnational patriarchy

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International marriage migration is a fraught terrain of gender and power relations. Based on research among Thai women married to Singaporean men, we argue that patriarchal outcomes – a distinctive system of transnational patriarchy – result from a complex interaction of women, men and nation-states. We draw on Deniz Kandiyoti's insights into patriarchal bargains as a productive framework through which to identify key elements in the making of transnational patriarchal relations. This article provides a detailed account of conditions in Thailand, Singapore and the contact zones in which Thai women and Singaporean men negotiate marriage migration. Relating this case to previous research, particularly among Filipina migrant women, demonstrates points of commonality while also highlighting the importance of attending to difference and diversity among transnational contexts.

Keywords: Singapore; Singapur; Tailandia; Thailand; marriage migration; migraciĆ³n por casamiento; negociaciones patriarcales; patriarcado transnacional; patriarchal bargains; transnational patriarchy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Thailand Development Research Institute, 565 Ramkhamaeng 39, Wangthonglang Bangkok, 10310, Thailand 2: Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore, AS1, #03-06, 11 Arts Link Singapore, Singapore 117570,

Publication date: 2013-05-01

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