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Classifying the “ideal migrant worker”

Mexican and Jamaican transnational farmworkers in Canada

Janet McLaughlin

This article analyzes the ideology and practice of multi-unit competition that pervades neoliberal subjectivities and produces the “ideal” flexible worker within contemporary global capitalism. It demonstrates how state and capitalist interests converge to influence the selection of the ideal transnational migrant worker, how prospective migrants adapt to these expectations, and the consequences of such enactments, particularly for migrants, but also for the societies in which they live and work. Multiple levels of actors—employers, state bureaucrats, and migrants themselves—collude in producing the flexible, subaltern citizen, which includes constructions and relations of class, race, gender, and nationality/citizenship. The case study focuses on Mexican and Jamaican participants in Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, a managed migration program that legally employs circular migrant farmworkers from Mexico and several English-speaking Caribbean countries in Canadian agriculture.

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Emptiness and its futures

Staying and leaving as tactics of life in Latvia

Dace Dzenovska

, where gang masters keep a flexible labor force on zero-hours contracts that can be supplied to growers at a moment’s notice and just as easily dropped (Brass 2004; Findlay et al. 2012 ; Rogaly 2008 ). Ben Rogaly argues that “the buyer-driven structure

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Fashioning Masculinities through Migration

Narratives of Romanian Construction Workers in London

Alexandra Urdea

migrants to the UK, Romanians see the flexible labor market as their chance to get work by undercutting pay. Yet it is also a source of distress, and for some of the interviewees, it was the reason they considered sending their family back to Romania and