Fragmented Lives: Segmented Identities - An Exploratory Study of the Effect of Marriage on the Social Contacts and Identities of Filipinas in the United Kingdom

By Ramona Buhain Bacon.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper, an on-going study, examines the impact over time of in and out-marriage on the social contacts and the identities of Filipinas in the UK. I propose to contribute to our overall understanding not only of Filipino ethnicity but also of immigrant-host social relationships. This work also investigates, using life histories and in-depth interviews, how Filipinas negotiate their everyday lives in their adopted country. I argue that work, church, and education, more than marriage, are the main sources of social contacts for Filipinas from all walks of life, including nurses, care workers, cleaners, office workers, and housewives. Although marriage provides the principal social connection with members of the host country, pursuing friendships is an individual option for Filipinas for both in and out-marriage groups. In terms of work, although both groups engage in low-paid through to skilled jobs, the in-marriage group works long and tedious hours, as both Filipino-born spouses have to cope with the high cost of living in the UK while still sending financial support to family back home. Work is also a valuable resource for the out-married group of Filipinas, however, this group enjoys a relative economic advantage, since the UK-born spouse remains the main breadwinner and provider in the family and is also more likely to own their own home. The ethnic Filipina identity, I argue, is linked with the concept of ‘home’ and the ‘sense of belonging’ - ‘segmented yet hybridised,’ as Filipinas from both in- and out-married groups demonstrate a reaffirmation of their cultural identity in many forms.

Keywords: Filipinas, In- and Out-Marriage, Social Contacts and Identities

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp.275-282. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 522.296KB).

Ramona Buhain Bacon

Department of Sociology, University of Essex, Essex, UK

I am currently an MPhil student under the supervision of Dr Colin Samson, Senior Lecturer and Director of Humanities in the Department of Sociology, University of Essex, UK. I finished my Master of Arts in Communication Research at the University of the Philippines in Manila, and, Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila). I was a Science Research Specialist at the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD) of the Department of Science and Technology in Manila, before migrating to the UK in 1991. I have been working in the Department of Computing and Electronic Systems, University of Essex, since 1997. I am a member of the British Sociological Association.

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