Personal Recognition Strategies of Undocumented Migrant Domestic Workers in The Netherlands

Lalaine Siruno*, Thomas Swerts, Arjen Leerkes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The struggle for recognition of undocumented migrants is usually portrayed
as a public affair involving the contestation of legal status. We advance a
broader conceptualization that demands attention to the more intimate
sphere where relational processes of recognition take place in interactions
with significant others. Based on 70 in-depth interviews, we identify four
recognition strategies adopted by Filipino undocumented migrant domestic
workers in the Netherlands: being the breadwinner, taking pride in work,
creating a sense of belonging, and being civically engaged. By illustrating
the importance of personal recognition, this paper contributes to ongoing
debates on recognition and migrant agency.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2022


  • domestic work
  • labor migration
  • overseas Filipinos
  • recognition
  • relational agency
  • self-verification
  • status dilemmas
  • undocumented migrants

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