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date: 25 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Singapore and Dubai are hypermodern city-states that host large temporary migrant populations. The majority of this group is composed of low-wage workers, migrant men from India who labor under conditions of structural inequality and extreme precarity. While there is a growing literature that discusses the issues of debt bondage and unfair conditions of employment that these men face, there is far less interrogation of the everyday and embodied forms of discrimination they encounter. In taking a deeply embodied and ethnographic approach to understanding the experiences of low-wage migrant male workers in these two metropolises, this chapter demonstrates how they are subject to multiple tropes that, in totality, seek to marginalize and devalue their work and the more intangible “learning” of the city that they undertake as part of the migration trajectory. As a result, despite extended periods of sojourn, they are never fully incorporated into the urban.

Keywords: migration, Singapore, Dubai, labor, global city, discrimination, race

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