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International Migration and Stereotype Formation: Indonesian Migrants in Hong Kong

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Abstract

This article analyses the impact of international migration on the formation and maintenance of stereotypes about the ethnic and national identities of migrant workers. It demonstrates that the employment conditions of Indonesian domestic workers in Hong Kong encourage certain types of behaviour, which in turn contribute to the processes of stereotype formation and maintenance about them in the host society. Intergroup contact theory predicts that even superficial interaction should disconfirm existing stereotypes, but this article shows how the ‘context of reception’ in host societies prevents this from happening through its creation of sub-optimal conditions, such as unequal power relationships.

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Notes

  1. Personal correspondence with Ng Yuen-ying for Commissioner for Labour, 12 October 2017.

  2. Personal correspondence with Josephine Chiu for Judiciary Administrator, 11 October 2017.

  3. The names Charles Leung and Siti Maesoroh are pseudonyms that mask the employer and migrant worker’s identities. Labour Tribunal hearings are public, so they can be freely observed. Data collected from such observations has been used in multiple academic publications.

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Palmer, W. International Migration and Stereotype Formation: Indonesian Migrants in Hong Kong. Int. Migration & Integration 21, 731–744 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-019-00680-1

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