The formation of migrant women’s personal and work identities in the context of gendered tourism work

Rydzik, Agnieszka (2013) The formation of migrant women’s personal and work identities in the context of gendered tourism work. In: Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference: New Geographical Frontiers, 27-30 August 2013, Imperial College London.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


Whilst, in separation, the gendered nature of tourism work and the increased significance of migrant workers have, to some extent, been explored by tourism labour scholars (Adkins, 1995; Guerrier & Adib, 2004; Janta, 2011; Veijola, 2009; Wright & Pollert, 2006), rarely are these often interconnected aspects considered in conjunction. Indeed, the experiences of female migrant workers have been largely marginalised in tourism labour research.

Presenting findings from a participatory study, which through its empowerment agenda actively engaged women in the research process, this paper examines the trajectories of Central and Eastern European migrant women working in UK tourism. Following the accession to the EU of the eight Central and Eastern European countries in 2004, and the subsequent mass mobility of these new EU citizens, the landscape of UK tourism workplaces transformed significantly. Large numbers of predominantly young, female and educated migrant women entered the industry through mostly bottom end customer facing roles. To date, however, little is known about their experiences, trajectories and the impact of tourism work on the identities of these migrant women.

This paper explores the (dis)empowering nature of tourism work, and the impact of employment, migration and media discourses on migrant women’s negotiations of work and personal identities as well as the coping strategies they adopt post-migration. In addition, the paper argues that more studies engaging with empowering, emancipatory and transformative research methodologies are needed in order to bring change to individuals and give voice to disempowered groups.

Keywords:female migration, tourism employment
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
L Social studies > L700 Human and Social Geography
N Business and Administrative studies > N800 Tourism, Transport and Travel
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:15936
Deposited On:05 Nov 2014 15:22

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