chapter  2
Masculine intent and migrant manhood: Thai workmen talking sex: Pattana Kitiarsa
ByPATTANA KITIARSA
Pages 18

The social lives of migrant workers are situated within the intertwining discourses of social marginalization, ethnocultural foreignness and transnational labour migration. In her discussion of Filipino workers in the Middle East, Margold claims that masculine identities are transfigured by the act of migrating across borders for work, arguing that ‘the sense of manhood that develops locally may be partially disassembled when the migrant is incorporated into the lowest ranks of the global labor force’ (Margold 1995: 276). However, the masculine identities of overseas migrant workers are not always dismantled, in part or in whole, by their experiences of transnational labour. A migrant workman’s sense of manhood incorporates both personal and emotional standpoints that are embedded in living narratives of everyday life performance, and there are at least some areas where migrant workmen retain or successfully renegotiate their sense of manhood.