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(In)visible lives: a visual and participatory exploration of the female migrant tourism worker experience

Rydzik, Agnieszka (2014) (In)visible lives: a visual and participatory exploration of the female migrant tourism worker experience. PhD thesis, Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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(In)visible lives: a visual and participatory exploration of the female migrant tourism worker experience

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Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
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Abstract

Following the 2004 EU accession of the eight Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, the landscape of UK tourism workplaces transformed. Large numbers of predominantly young, female and educated migrants entered the industry through mostly entry level roles. Despite their significant contribution to the industry, the experiences of female migrant tourism workers remain under-researched.
This study explores the experiences of CEE migrant women employed in low wage tourism positions. It examines how gender, age and ethno-nationality intersect and how media discourses of Eastern European migration together with stigmatizing low status tourism work impact on female migrants’ employment experiences and career opportunities. Additionally, it gives insight into the intersecting motivations for CEE women to migrate and enter tourism, with tourism workplaces both facilitating and restricting their occupational mobility. The exploration of participants’ employment experiences reveals tourism workplaces as hostile environments for migrant women, with complex power relations and limitations to career progression for those highly educated. Nonetheless, despite working in exploitative environments, CEE migrant women emerge not only as passive victims but also as active agents confronting inequalities and asserting their rights.
Underpinned by feminist participatory action research, hopeful tourism and the theory of intersectionality, the study adopts a visual and participatory methodology. It employs a range of qualitative research methods, both conventional and innovative. Through its empowering and transformative approach, the study actively engages participants in the research process, gives in-depth insight into their multifaceted experiences, as well as fostering co-learning and reaching wider audiences via a public engagement community event. In this way, the research gives voice and visibility to this often disempowered minority group as well as advancing research theory and practice. The study demonstrates how the application of visual methods allows for participants to create representations of their experiences and unveil the multilayered nature of their realities.

Keywords:migrant labour, tourism employment, female migration
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N800 Tourism, Transport and Travel
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:14953
Deposited On:16 Sep 2014 09:39

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