Settlement, Separation and Forming New Families: A Multi-Scalar Intersectional Analysis of Filipino Family Immigration in Saskatchewan, Canada

Tungohan, E. (2020)
Women’s Studies International Forum, Volume 83 | Available at

The question of how immigrants fare when their relationships break down and when they enter new relationships remains an under-studied issue in the wider literature on family immigration. I analyze the narratives shared with me by four Filipino immigrants to Saskatchewan, each of whom discussed their experiences settling into Canada, separating from their partners, rebuilding their lives, and eventually forming new families with new partners. These narratives highlight how a long-term assessment of immigrants’ settlement trajectories invariably shows shifts in relationship and family composition. To probe deeper into these narratives, I use a feminist, multi-scalar intersectional approach that discusses the race, gender, and class hierarchies created by Canadian immigration policies. This approach also examines race, gender, and class processes at the micro-level, meso-level, and macro-level to illustrate the complex workings of power in the lives of the immigrants in this study.

Mula Sa Masa, Tungo Sa Masa, From the People, For the People: Building Migrant Worker Power through Participatory Action Research

Francisco-Menchavez, V. and Tungohan, E. (2020)
Migration Letters, Volume 17(2), 257-264

In this article, we explore the possibilities of Participatory Action Research (PAR) producing ethical and nuanced knowledge that contributes to developing Filipino migrant workers’ capacity for sustainable political organizing. We discuss our projects with Filipino migrant organizations in the U.S. and Canada. We theorize on the potential of PAR with migrants who are part of highly precarious workforces in global cities. Additionally, we, as immigrant women of colour and scholars, highlight the tensions between academic ethos that prioritizes a rapid ‘publish-or-perish’ culture and the ethos of PAR, which puts into place collaborative processes that can be at odds with the ‘tempo’ of academic work. We highlight the tensions between the academic and reproductive labour of PAR, with the latter being seen by many academic institutions as an ‘inconvenience’ impeding productivity.

Reflections on Different Approaches to Socially-Engaged Research in the Social Sciences

Tungohan, E. (2020)
Politics, Groups, and Identities, Volume 8(1), 172-180

As a scholar-activist whose advocacy and research goals involve understanding the complexities of Filipino migrants’ lives, I have oftentimes contemplated how to advance socially engaged research projects that enable academic theorizing and social justice. As a member of the Filipino diaspora, I am an “insider” researcher. I am inspired by projects that synthesize research and community agendas. Although I do not think that researchers have to be insiders to undertake socially engaged research, my personal stakes in these projects are higher because I can see that such projects have the potential to improve the situations of underrepresented communities – in this case, Filipino migrant communities.

In this article, I reflect on two previous collaborative projects with Filipino migrant organizations in Canada. By comparing both projects, my goal is show two vastly different approaches to socially engaged research, ultimately arguing that different understandings of social engagement led to disparate outcomes. The first project best exemplifies the use of socially engaged research as a tool for social justice whereas the second project highlights a hierarchical approach where academic knowledge-creation was prioritized above community needs. When comparing the two, project one offers a better model for socially engaged research that equally prioritizes academic and community priorities compared to project two. In the ensuing discussion, I provide a brief review of previous socially engaged research on diasporic Filipina migrant communities. Then, I compare two projects where my collaborators and I used socially engaged research as the basis for a short discussion of possible best practices.

Socially Engaged Research and Teaching

Tungohan, E., Levac, L. and Price, K. (2020)
Politics, Groups, and Identities , Volume 17(2), 160-163

Topics as wide-ranging as climate change, reproductive and sexual justice, Indigenous rights and decolonization, conflict and violence, and global migration – not to mention their intersections with each other, and with structures such as racism, white supremacy, colonialism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and capitalism – are creating calamities the world over. As a result, political leaders, academics, and local communities alike have found themselves grappling with a growing list of deeply complex and troubling questions. How can we protect children, women, and transgender and queer people from violence? How can we ensure that everyone has the right and capacity to make decisions about the most intimate aspects of their lives, especially concerning their reproductive and sexual health and their gender identity and expression? What alternative discourses can we propose to combat ring-wing extremist ideologies that are increasingly entering the political mainstream? Why have we so far failed to ensure global food security and access to safe drinking water? How will we bring carbon emissions to zero? What will our policy responses need to be if we continue failing in these regards? These and many other pressing local and global issues that fall into the purview of political science depend not only on our intellectual attention, but also on our capacity to collaborate within, across, and beyond disciplinary and sectoral boundaries to move towards just solutions.

A Question of Caring: Ethical and Policy Dilemmas Arising from Care Migration

Tungohan, E. and Hanley, J. (2019)
International Journal of Care and Caring, Volume 3(2), 225-227

The absence of institutional support for widely available and accessible care, the insufficient numbers of care workers, and many other factors have led to a worldwide care deficit. Indeed, the International Labour Organization (ILO) argues that there will be a ‘severe and unsustainable global care crisis’ unless new policy solutions are proposed (Addati et al, 2018: xxvii).

Global Care Chains and the Spectral Histories of Care Migration

Tungohan, E. (2019)
International Journal of Care and Caring, Volume 3(2), 229-245

This article unearths hidden narratives that have been ignored in care migration research by using intersectional, decolonial and queer approaches. I examine the following: the accounts of a child of a migrant caregiver versus the child of a migrant caregiver’s employer; caregiver ‘Clara’s’ experience when working for an employer who was a surrogate grandmother; and caregiver ‘Linda’s’ lived experiences of being in a same-sex partnership in Canada while still being legally married to a man in the Philippines. Ultimately, I show how care migration research benefits from considering the ‘spectral histories’ that are part of people’s encounters with care migration.

Living with Compromised Legal Status: Irregular Temporary Foreign Workers in Alberta and the Importance of Imagining, Strategizing and Inter-Provincial Legal Consciousness

Tungohan, E. (2018)
International Migration, Volume 56(6), 207-220

This article highlights the manifold ways that migrants strategically use their social networks in order to survive in Alberta with compromised legal status. The conditionality of their status is affected by individual encounters and by new policy developments, showing that their ability to control their life trajectories is constrained by factors beyond their control. Nevertheless, although they experienced high amounts of stress because of their situations, the role played by cognitive processes, which include imagining, strategizing, and what I call “inter?provincial legal consciousness”, allowed them to exercise agency. These processes allowed them to build communities and networks of support and to imagine potential life paths in other provinces through other provinces’ provincial nominee programmes.

The Future of Canadian Political Science: Boundary Transgressions, Gender, and Anti-Oppression Frameworks

Nath, N., Tungohan, E. and Gaucher, M. (2018)
Canadian Journal of Political Science, Volume 51(3), 619-642

In light of the Canadian Journal of Political Science (CJPS) self-reflexive “50th Anniversary” issue on the state of Canadian political science (CPS), this article maps the discipline’s engagement with intersectional anti-oppression scholarship. Analyzing abstracts in CJPS and the Canadian Political Science Review, we argue while these journals—and mainstream CPS more generally—tackle questions of diversity, there remains a gap between conversations recognized in these particular forums and the incorporation of what we term an intersectional antioppression lens. In its deconstruction of systems of power and privilege, we explore analytic and pedagogical possibilities this lens presents for mainstream CPS.

From Migrant to Citizen: The Labour Market Integration of Former Live-in Caregivers in Canada

Banerjee, R., Kelly, P., Tungohan, E., Cleto, P., de Leon, C., Garcia, M., Luciano, M., Palmaria, C. and Sorio, C. (2018)
ILR Review, Volume 71(4), 908-936

This study examines the impact of attaining permanent resident status on the employment integration of migrant caregivers in Canada. The authors use survey data from 631 caregivers who arrived as migrants under a temporary foreign worker program before transitioning to permanent residency, as well as data from 47 focus group discussions. The authors find that although most caregivers do switch out of caregiving work over time, they often remain within a few, lower-skilled occupations. Postsecondary education acquired before migration has no impact on occupational mobility. Caregivers’ lack of financial stability and the stigmatization of their employment experience often constrain their labor market options; moreover, an emotional bond and sense of obligation toward employers often hinder their ability to move out into other occupations, even after receiving legal permanent resident status. From the empirical results, the authors provide theoretical insights into the complex relationship between immigration patterns and labor markets.

Temporary foreign workers in Canada: Reconstructing ‘belonging’, remaking ‘citizenship’

Tungohan, E. (2018)
Social and Legal Studies, Volume 28(2), 236-252

Using the results of ethnographic research and focus group interviews with Filipino temporary foreign workers in Alberta, Canada, the goal of this article is to bring temporary foreign workers into academic and policy discussions by critically assessing how they fare at different stages of the migration process. Such analysis shows the strengths of ideational, affective and structural factors in determining temporary foreign workers’ motivations and goals. Ultimately, this article shows that temporary foreign workers reconstruct belonging and remake citizenship by making membership claims in Canada on the basis of their economic and social contributions to the country. Such claims, however, are grounded in dual modes of belonging in both Canada and in the Philippines. Their participation in migrants’ rights organizations that endeavour to provide temporary foreign workers with pathways to permanent residency shows their belief in their ‘right to have rights’ (Isin, 2008).