Migrant Labor and Welfare in Southeast Asia

Authored by: Amarjit Kaur

Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian History

Print publication date:  September  2013
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415587259
eBook ISBN: 9780203763117
Adobe ISBN: 9781135018788


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In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Southeast Asia’s increased incorporation into the international economy was associated with the expansion of European capitalism, the exploitation of raw materials, and transformation of the existing geography of production. Political and economic integration led to specialization in mineral and agricultural production and employment growth in three main areas – mining, agriculture, and services. This growth pattern corresponded with the commoditization of labor in these sectors and shaped colonial labor policies, resulting in the creation of specific labor systems and the formation of immigrant niches.

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