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Connection as a Form of Resisting Control: mobile phone usage of foreign domestic workers in Singapore
Media Asia: An Asian Communication Quarterly (2010)
  • Trisha Tsui-Chuan Lin, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Shirley Hsiao-Li Sun, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Abstract

Mobile phones emerge as a new vehicle for resistance against employers’ control and social isolation, as well as maintaining distant relationships and local social networks. Through a survey and interviews with 68 female foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in Singapore, this study further investigates FDWs’ mobile phone usage for professional and personal communication with employers, family overseas and local friends. The findings show that FDWs have distinctive patterns for professional and personal use, including topics, time, and length of communication. They tend to use mobile phones more for connecting with family and friends than communicating with employers. Text messaging is the most popular function while voice calls are used only for emergencies or special occasions. Finally, cost, ease of use and attractive packages are key factors affecting FDWs’ selection of mobile services.

Publication Date
2010
Citation Information
Lin, Trisha Tsui-Chuan and Sun, Shirley Hsiao-Li. (2010) "Connection as a Form of Resisting Control: mobile phone usage of foreign domestic workers in Singapore" Media Asia: An Asian Communication Quarterly 37(4): 183-214. Available at: http://works.bepress.com/shirleysun/5