Class, Migration, and Identity in a Philippine Village

  • Philip F. KellyEmail author
Part of the International Perspectives on Migration book series (IPMI, volume 2)


This chapter explores the implications of transnational and domestic migration for class identity in a Philippine village in the province of Cavite by studying the ways in which class intersects with other social processes. It explains the village as a nexus of multiple intersections—foreign capital invested in local industrial growth; domestic migrants arriving from elsewhere in the country to work in agriculture, in industry and in homes; transnational migrants departing to join the prolific stream of Overseas Filipino Workers; and remittances sent home by such workers, as well as permanent emigrants. One implication of these motilities is the change in the meaning of class. Class would once have been defined in conventional terms relating to the structure of ownership of land and other productive assets. Elevated positions in such a class structure would in turn have enabled particular cultural expressions of distinction and processes of class reproduction. However, since the early 1990s in particular, the onset of the various human and financial flows makes class a far more complicated concept. Transnational migration and remittances facilitate new forms of consumption and performances of distinction—ones that are quite removed from those associated with traditional class identities in a rural village, and that distinctions are not simply now accessible to villagers with new-found remittance wealth—rather, the very nature of class-based distinctions has itself been reworked. Domestic migration raises the prospect of intersections between class and regional identity, as migrants from elsewhere in the Philippines are constructed as ‘others’ in relation to long-time village residents. Both forms of migration also raise questions about the intersection of class and gender.


Gender Identity Cultural Capital Class Relation Class Position Class Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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