Labor, Health, and Marginalization: A Culture-Centered Analysis of the Challenges of Male Bangladeshi Migrant Workers in the Middle East

Source of Publication

Qualitative Health Research


© The Author(s) 2020. Based on the culture-centered approach, we examine the meanings of health and negotiations of health care structures among low socioeconomic status (SES) Bangladeshi male migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We engage in coconstructive problem definition and strategizing through 44 semistructured in-depth interviews/focus groups about health, migration, and well-being. Our analysis of the participants’ narratives elucidates the intersectionality of health as a lived experience of migrant labor within neoliberal structures focused on labor extraction, highlighting health not as a static or purely epidemiological construct, but as a combination of the physical, mental, spiritual, and socioeconomic material realities within which they are located. These include a recognition of the importance of interconnectedness of physical and mental well-being, drawing upon one’s cultural and familial roles and responsibilities, as well as locating health within structurally exploitative practices. Specifically, the participants articulate the absence of substantive health and labor protections that result in poor health outcomes for them.

Document Type


First Page


Last Page


Publication Date