Beyond the Cultural Horizon- A study on Transnationalism, Cultural Citizenship, and Media

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Beyond the Cultural Horizon- A study on Transnationalism, Cultural Citizenship, and Media

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Beyond the Cultural Horizon- A study on Transnationalism, Cultural Citizenship, and Media
Author(s) Lopez Pedersen, Maria Erliza
Date 2012
English abstract
In many cases, the need to survive has been the reason for many individuals to leave their country and to start anew in a foreign land. Indeed, migration has played its role as one of the solutions to struggle against poverty among many migrants. Nevertheless, migration can also be an excellent way to improve or develop one’s linguistic, professional and cultural competencies. And one way of doing this is to be part of the au pair cultural exchange program. The interest to be an au pair as well as the interest to have an au pair has been the subject of colorful debates in Denmark, and pushing politicians to make an action due to reports of abuse by many host families. Where the au pair program will end up is still a question hanging up in the air. This study is about the journey of many young and educated Filipino migrants who have decided to embark on the au pair expedition. The theme is anchored on deprofessionalization and deskilling. Transnationalism, civic culture and cultural citizenship, and media are the central theories of the study. Feedback from the participants indicates that there is a need to shift the discussion and focus. It is also important that the au pairs’ knowledge and skills are recognized. The study recommends further research on how participatory communication can be utilized or applied to engage all the stakeholders: au pairs, host family, social organizations, sending and receiving countries, and mass media, in finding long term solutions. The ‘cultural exchange or cheap labor’ argument must not be ignored; however, debates should not be limited to this alone. Most of the au pairs are educated. Recognition of such qualifications must be done to create a new arena for discussions. Oftentimes, many au pairs themselves do not see this side of their background as something valuable. From a communication for development perspective, behaviour change- the au pairs should not see themselves as domestic workers, but as educated migrants, and this must be promoted and advocated, so that au pairs and members of the host society can acknowledge this unknown aspect of these unsung migrants. They are education migrants; it is only right and logical that the au pairs are supported to enhance their qualifications. Deprofessionalization and deskilling must be avoided.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 70
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Transnationalism
Cultural Citizenship
Filipino Au Pairs
The Philippines
Communication for Development
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