Taking the example of a particular Vietnamese woman’s life, this article explores the links between motorbike use and the work and living conditions of young migrant women in Ho Chi Minh City. Highlighting the social and economic consequences of migration-assisted economic development in Southeast Asia, it details the political economy of marginalisation that situates the migrant saleswoman, and shows how she struggles within it to free herself from imposed social categories, both old and new.
Author Archives: Robbie Peters
Robbie Peters is a senior lecturer in anthropology at the University of Sydney and director of its Development Studies Program. His book, Surabaya, 1945-2010 was shortlisted for the EuroSEAS humanities book prize and he has written journal articles on urban renewal and the political economy of violence in the Indonesian city and on gender and work in Saigon, Jakarta and Surabaya. His current research focuses on a number of issues including those of death, commemoration and the politics of place in the Indonesian city; the effects of conditional cash transfer programs on the urban poor in Indonesia; and the work-life of the increasing number of Indonesian urban poor who work as motorbike taxi drivers for app-based ride hailing companies like GoJek and Uber. He is most interested, however, in the post-colonial city in Indonesia, with a particular emphasis on revolutionary violence.