ANTHROPOLOGY COLLOQUIUM SERIES
Dr. Dinah Hannaford
Assistant Professor, Department of International Studies, Texas A & M University
'Cultivating impermanence: migrant transnationalism in neoliberal Italy'
Tuesday, February 16, 2016, at 12:00pm in the Anthropology Lounge, 3106 WWPH
The move toward flexible accumulation that has characterized international business practice in late capitalism has intensified a pull for migrant labor. As countries like Italy have expanded their industrial sectors, internationalized their labor markets and increased demand for a low-wage labor force, their own aging and declining population is increasingly unable to meet labor needs. The unstable and contingent working conditions that result leave migrant workers vulnerable not only to unemployment without benefits, but expulsion, as migration status is tied to employment. Such instability forces migrants to remain transnational, continuing to invest in social, economic and political life at home. Senegalese migrants in Italy practice transnationalism in myriad ways, including through transnational marriages. By engaging in transnational marriage, Senegalese migrants join other migrant groups from the global South who find flexible kinship to be a new imperative of neoliberal globalization. In their status as transmigrants, these migrant groups unwittingly support the welfare state retrenchment in their own home countries, while simultaneously supplying European economies with a perpetually expellable workforce that falls outside of states’ social safety nets.
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