Conceptualising the agency of migrant women workers: Resilience, reworking and resistance

Rydzik, Agnieszka and Anitha, Sundari (2020) Conceptualising the agency of migrant women workers: Resilience, reworking and resistance. Work, Employment and Society . ISSN 0950-0170, forthcoming

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Conceptualising the agency of migrant women workers: Resilience, reworking and resistance
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Abstract

This article examines migrant women tourism workers’ understandings of, and diverse responses to, exploitative working conditions by taking account of the constraints posed by oppressive contexts and ideologies. It analyses how their location at the intersection of multiple axes of disadvantage and discrimination on account of gender, ethno-nationality, immigration status and migration history as well as their low-status employment and educational level, shapes both their understandings of particular experiences of exploitation and possible responses to these, and examines the effects of their practices upon the power structures at work. Based on the experiences of eleven women from Central and Eastern European countries working in the UK tourism industry, this article theorises workers’ responses to hyperexploitative employment relations by utilising a differentiated conceptualisation of agency as practices of resilience, reworking and resistance. In doing so, it rejects binary categories of victimhood and agency, as well as romanticised accounts of unmitigated resistance.

Keywords:Agency, Exploitation, Gender and migration, Migrant women, Resistance, Tourism Employment
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N221 Hotel and Catering
L Social studies > L300 Sociology
N Business and Administrative studies > N830 UK Tourism
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:37125
Deposited On:16 Sep 2019 09:39

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