A clash of histories

Encounters of migrant and non-migrant laborers in the Canadian automobile parts industry

in Focaal
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This article considers the confrontations between immigrant and non-immigrant workers in the workplace and the implications of these confrontations for workplace unity and class formation. Contributing to scholarship at the intersection of history, class, and migration, the article argues that workers bring to work histories that are constructed as oppositional. The roots of these oppositions lie in shared but different histories of dispossession and migration, masked by dominant cultural and class narratives, which privilege non-immigrant histories that are class-based, masculinist, and nationalist, and subordinate those of immigrants. In the process, neo-liberal agendas are bolstered. Questions of how such processes take place are important for understanding class formation within societies with large immigrant populations.