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This paper examines how men and women migrant workers are represented in the political discourse. It does so by looking at political and media texts of two life and death cases of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)2 or contract migrants. It argues that even as they are hailed as "heroes" in such anxiety-ridden moments, gendered discourses come into play, foregrounding a "politics of shame." The study further suggests that such discourses are grounded in gender ideologies surrounding migrant work in which there is disproportionate "national shame" about the nature of women's3 work abroad but none toward migrant men's. Overall, it contends that gendered shame legitimizes and expands the state's "protective" stance, thereby shaping how it regulates women migrant workers.
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