Migrant subjectivities and temporal flexibility of East-Central European labour migration to the United Kingdom

Sergei Shubin, David McCollum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

This paper seeks to broaden existing understandings of migrant worker flexibility drawing on the data from the two ethnographic studies of low-wage employers and Eastern European migrants in Scotland. It focuses on the temporal aspects of flexibility production in employment discourse and temporal expectations about flexible migrant workers. Our findings reveal double movement of interruption and remaking of temporal flexibility, which challenges directional expectations about time and unsettles the assumed connectivity between flexibility's temporal elements. Uncertainty and instability of migration and employment frameworks undermine the attempts of employers and migrants to manage time, to develop continuous portfolio careers and coherent temporal horizons. Furthermore, contested temporal expectations about flexible migrant workers create fragmented and fractured "flexiworkers" that do not fit within the existing temporal frameworks of signs, routines, and rhythms. The paper suggests re-orientation of flexibility debates beyond temporal measurement, outside familiar temporal structures, and towards redefinition of flexible worker identities.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2508
Number of pages11
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
VolumeEarly View
Early online date18 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Eastern Europe
  • Flexibility
  • Labour migration
  • Low-waged migrants
  • Migrant worker
  • Time
  • UK

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