The Transnational Lives Of Filipino Nurses In Ireland In The Midst Of An Emerging Philippines-Ireland Migration System

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The economic boom during the Celtic Tiger era triggered an unprecedented wave of in-migration to Ireland transforming Ireland from an emigrant-sending to an immigrant-receiving state. Filipinos, especially nurses, were among the immigrant groups that responded to the economic opportunities in Ireland. The migration of Filipinos to Ireland, however, is a recent phenomenon. This presented an opportunity to study the factors shaping the beginnings of a migration system, the evolution of migration institutions, ethnic business, and associations in Ireland, and to examine the transnational lives of families of female professional nurses. I examine the reunification process of families, their transnational practices of communication, remittances, and visits, and role reconfigurations in their households division of labor. Using participant and non-participant observation, in-depth individual and couple interviews, and focus groups with nurses and their husbands, in-depth interviews with recruiters, owners of pioneer ethnic Filipino businesses, Filipino association leaders, and other key informants; and reviews of laws, policies, and articles, the study found that among the factors shaping this nascent migration system were: a) the exit policies of the Philippine state, b) the policies of the Irish state regarding (lack of) work entitlements for spouses of migrant workers, EU Accession state national preference, ethical nurse recruitment, English language requirements, citizenship, residency rights of parents of Irish-born children, and family reunification, and c) the role of the migration industry and networks, specifically the migrant bridgeheads and gatekeepers, reputable international recruitment agencies, and an "escort service," a human smuggling operation at the Philippines' gateway airport. The study showed how connections were formed between Irish-based recruiters and Philippine-based recruiters or liaisons, that pioneer ethnic Filipino business owners were often married to Irish nationals or had Irish backers, and that ethnic Filipino associations formed as a result of a spark triggered by a person, event, or organizational split. The study also analyzed the process of and the factors influencing family reunification, the various factors influencing the transnational practices of communication, cash and kind remittances, and visits of migrants, and the role reconfigurations in the household division of labor that occur as a result of migration of the nurse-wife.
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migration; migration system; migrant; philippines; filipino; nurse; ireland; irish; transnational; ofw
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Williams, Linda Brooks
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Strang, David
Brown, David L
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Development Sociology
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Ph. D., Development Sociology
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Doctor of Philosophy
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dissertation or thesis
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