Inderscience Publishers

An exploratory study of Nepalese migrant workers in Thailand: initial conditions and disappointing outcomes

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

This paper describes exploratory qualitative research among Nepalese migrant workers in Thailand, based on a series of more than 60 personal interviews. The research followed a qualitative method with a semi–structured agenda aimed at encouraging respondents to explore issues of importance to themselves and their colleagues. The research indicated significant differences between skilled and unskilled workers and that the difference between skilled and unskilled relied almost entirely upon class differences in the caste–intensive sending society. There are some possibilities for business development in Thailand but these are reliant upon negotiating the currently significant differences between documented and undocumented migrants. It is not clear that this can be achieved under current conditions even though the Thai Government is seeking stable supply of semi–skilled workers for the next decade.

Keywords: globalisation, business development, capitalism, documented workers, entrepreneurialism, illegal migration, labour migration, Nepal, Thailand, migrant workers, qualitative research, skilled workers, unskilled workers, class differences, caste system, undocumented workers, semi–skilled workers

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