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INFO 2000 Conference program


I mention this conference on p. 89 of the book. For me, it was a clear example of the way that the Philippine government tries to engage overseas Filipinos as “partners in development.” Though I don’t discuss it fully in “Migrants for Export,” I remember being very uncomfortable about the ways some of the conference participants, especially professionals who had emigrated to countries like the U.S. or Australia, would characterize their less-skilled counterparts working in other countries. They made it seem as if domestic workers, factory workers and the like were too unsophisticated to be driving the agenda for development in the Philippines; as if they didn’t have the right to be at the table and should instead defer to the professionals because they had “made it” in desirable destinations and were therefore better positioned to steer the country’s future. I found their class-bias, very patronizing and problematic.

Discursive practices

Wikipedia has a helpful entry on “discourse”:

I definitely draw from Foucault in using the term “discourse” but I am not sure I engage the term with much rigor, I confess.

For me, the state’s “discursive practices” refers, amongst other things, to the sets of narratives (or stories) it tells about the nation and it’s people (like the whole idea of “bagong bayani” or new national heroes). These stories get manifested in official policy documents, in public debates by politicians, etc.