Narratives and Identities of Overseas Filipina Domestic Worker Community in Macau

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology, Concentration in Counseling Psychology (Thesis Program)



First Advisor

Melissa R. Garabiles, PhD


Domestic workers comprise roughly half of the total number of Overseas Filipino Workers. They leave the country mainly because of economic adversity. Once abroad, they are positioned at a disadvantage both at work and at home, and some effectively cope with such condition. This study plots a narrative, with focus on identities, of the community of domestic workers in Macau using narrative analysis. It is divided into a three-part timeline: pre-migration, during migration, and imagined future. Before migration, they have the hands-on mother and inadequate mother identities. During migration, the following identities in relation to work and home are present: family member, modern slave, inadequate mother, partner, and worker, fighter, hands-on mother, and self-sacrificing mother. In the imagined future, they see themselves as successful retired OFWs, hands-on mothers, reconciled life partners, and inadequate mothers. As there are multiple and overlapping identities, an optimal negotiation of identities can be adopted. Shifts and discrepancies may be effectively managed, with inclination to a positive trajectory of personal and community development. Moreover, the community narrative describes the general condition of the community of domestic workers and accounts for nuances that may have been previously overlooked, consequently impacting policies and other interventions. Keywords: identity, community, narrative, migration, domestic workers

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