Precarity and the multiple identities of Hong Kong’s ‘Cancer Warriors’

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


Within the diverse East and Southeast Asian regions, migration for employment is characterised by the flow of workers from low-middle income home countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines to high-income host destinations like Hong Kong and Singapore (Peng, 2017). Many workers take up low-skilled jobs on short-term contracts and are thus categorised as temporary migrants. The temporary nature of this migration has been linked with limited acculturation as well as the maintenance of strong family ties with home countries. Although the marginalisation of migrants in host destinations is widely acknowledged, temporary migrants experience a unique precarity as they may be marginalised in their home countries as they are viewed as “noncitizens or absentee citizens” (Piper, 2017, p. 376).

Limited research has focused on how temporary migrants in the Southeast and East Asian regions navigate serious illness during their working life as they ‘move’ physically and emotionally between home and host destinations. This presentation draws on the qualitative findings of research conducted in Hong Kong with a group of female migrant workers diagnosed with cancer during a period of employment. These individuals were members of a self-help group they referred to as the ‘Cancer Warriors’. The findings of this research draw attention to the complexity of the everyday lives of these women as they negotiated their illness and identities across multiple systems of migration, employment and care
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusNot published / presented only - 13 Jul 2023
EventThe 15th Biennial Conference of Asian Association of Social Psychology - The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 13 Jul 202315 Jul 2023


ConferenceThe 15th Biennial Conference of Asian Association of Social Psychology
Abbreviated titleAASP2023
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
Internet address


  • Breast cancer
  • Migrant domestic workers
  • Philippines
  • Hong Kong

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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