“In Sickness and in Wealth provides a superbly rich ethnographic account of the social and moral worlds of Indonesian migrant women. It takes us into three migrant communities of origin in Central Java. This study on migrant domestic work illustrates the aspirations and risks of migration for Indonesian women, the logics of their negotiation, and the moral economies that dictate their actions. Indonesian women represent the largest group of migrant domestic workers globally yet they remain vastly understudied. This book not only fills this much-needed empirical gap but it theoretically enriches our understanding of gendered migration in its nuanced and multi-layered investigation of the ways morals inform and constrain the actions of Indonesian workers.
— Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, author of Servants of Globalization: Migration and Domestic Work
“In this book, Carol Chan distills the moral core of migration and shows us how narratives of shame and blame, faith and fate, success and failure, sustain migration’s mirage in the villages of Central Java. In her richly textured ethnography, migrants, stayers, prospective migrants, return migrants, 'failed' migrants and their families, kin, friends, neighbors, and community leaders emerge in quick succession as inextricably linked, self-responsibilized participants—drawn together by the entangled threads of gendered moralities—as they partake in fashioning social worth and recuperative futures.”
— Brenda S.A. Yeoh, editor (with Gracia Liu-Farre) of Routledge Handbook of Asian Migrations
“A compelling account of the gendered moralities that shape domestic worker migration from Indonesia to countries across Asia and the Middle East. Chan’s ethnographic approach effectively reveals the critical importance of taking culture as a starting point for understanding migration.”
— Johan Lindquist, editor (with Joshua Barker and Erik Harms) of Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity
“Innovative and richly ethnographic, In Sickness and in Wealth is certain to be of interest to a wide range of readers with interest in migration, gender, and Islam in everyday life. Anthropologist Carol Chan is acutely attentive to dilemmas and challenges linked to the successes and failures of migrant laborers, and to ways that women and men are judged by different moral standards. Packed with enthralling stories of those who migrate and those who stay behind in Central Javanese villages, and contextualized within a wider political and moral economy, this book is moving, timely, and hard to put down.”
— Nicole Constable, author of Born Out of Place: Migrant Mothers and the Politics of International Labor