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Unmapping Recruitment: An Exploration of Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Guatemala


Unmapping Recruitment: An Exploration of Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Guatemala

Muir, Gwendolyn (2015) Unmapping Recruitment: An Exploration of Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Guatemala. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Text (application/pdf)
Muir, G. UNMAPPING RECRUITMENT 2015.pdf - Accepted Version


Migrant workers have made up the largest category of legal entrants to Canada over recent years, with 491,547 working in Canada in 2012. This rise of temporary “managed migration” has been organized through discriminatory classification systems that are deeply rooted in colonial categories of difference, sorting migrants according to nationality, gender, race, etc., while normalizing the exclusion of workers from full status. Although managed migration has come to dominate Canada’s bordering landscape, little research has explored how the colonial underpinnings of temporary labour facilitate the apartheid of mobility in Canada, and, in particular, how the neoliberalization of migration governance has also tightened state control over the movement of non-White workers. In this thesis, I unmap TFWP recruitment in the “Low-Skill” Canada-Guatemala Pilot Project to highlight how temporary bordering practices perform and uphold the settler state through the stratified classification and management of migrant labour. I draw from a total of twelve qualitative interviews with all seven recruitment agencies active in Guatemala in 2014 and one agency in Canada, as well as from the lived experiences of thirty-nine Guatemalan workers shared over nineteen interviews. Through an interrogation of the day-to-day agency narratives and processes that forge the “good” worker and the migrant worker category in Guatemala and Canada, I trace how the TFWP is continuously constructed through the tangible practices of agencies, employers, and the Canadian state. I demonstrate how the expansion of the TFWP via recruitment has consequences far beyond Canada’s physical borders, driving workers into debt and precarity, fraudulently enlisting and blacklisting workers, and promoting overt discrimination on the basis of race, gender, region, climate, morality, ability, etc. Through an examination of bordering actors and narratives, I denaturalize the unjust organization of managed movement and Canadian borders, unmapping the processes of differential classification and containment in support of a wider no borders politics.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Muir, Gwendolyn
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:November 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gould, Kevin
Keywords:managed migration; settler colonialism; border studies; Guatemala; Canada; migrant labour; recruitment;
ID Code:980852
Deposited On:17 Jun 2016 14:09
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52
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