‘We’re Sending you Back’: Temporary Skilled Labour Migration, Social Networks and Local Community
AbstractThis paper contributes to the emergent literature on the temporal and dynamic constitution of temporary skilled migrant networks, foregrounding under-researched interrelations between migrant and non-migrant networks. It does so through examination of the lived experience of transnational, temporary skilled labour migrants resident in Ravensthorpe in rural Western Australia (WA) who were confronted with the sudden closure of the mining operation where they were employed. As a result they faced imminent forced departure from Australia. Drawing on qualitative data collected in Ravensthorpe three weeks after the closure, this paper foregrounds the role of this shared, profoundly socially-disruptive event in the formation of a temporary, multi-ethnic migrant network and related interactions with a local network. Analysis of these social relations foregrounds the role of catalysing events and external prompts (beyond ethnicity and the migration act) in the formation of temporary migrant networks, along with the importance of local contexts, policy conditions and employer action. The social networks formed in Hopetoun, and associated mobilisation of social capital, confirm the potential and richness of non-migrant networks for shaping the migrant experience, and foreground the ways in which these interrelations in turn can shape the local experience of migration, just as it highlights the capacity of community groups to act as social and political allies for temporary migrants.that would require migrants to depart after a set number of years and instead recommend a pathway to permanent residence based on duration of stay.
A National Disgrace: The Exploitation of Temporary Work Visa Holders 2016. “Education and Employment References Committee.” Commonwealth of Australia, www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Education_and_Employment/temporary_work_visa/Report. (accessed Feb 10, 2017).
Atkinson, G. and Hargreaves, J. 2014. “An Exploration of Labour Mobility in Mining and Construction: Who Moves and Why.” National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Adelaide.
Azarias, J., Lambert, J., McDonald, P., and Malyon, K. 2014. “Robust New Foundations: A Streamlined, Transparent and Responsive System for the 457 Programme.” www.immi.gov.au/pub-res/Documents/reviews/streamlined-responsive-457-programme.pdf. (accessed Mar 13, 2015).
BHP Billiton. 2009. “Changes to BHP Billiton’s Nickel Business”
Breen, F 2016 ‘Australian Immigration Policy in Practice: a Case Study of Skill Recognition and Qualification Transferability Amongst Irish 457 Visa Holders.” Australian Geographer 47(4):491-509.
Boese, M. and Macdonald K 2016. “Restricted Entitlements for Skilled Temporary Migrants: the Limits of Migrant Consent.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Oct.
Castles, S. 2002. “Migration and Community Formation under Conditions of Globalization.” International Migration Review 36(4): 1143-1168.
Castles, S. 2016. “Rethinking Australian Migration.” Australian Geographer 47(4): 391-398.
Cwerner, S. B. 2001. “The Times of Migration.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 27(1):7-36.
Dauvergne, C. and Marsden, S. 2014. ‘The Ideology of Temporary Labour Migration in the Post-global era.” Citizenship Studies 18(2):224-242.
de Certeau, M. 2005. “The Practice of Everyday Life: “Making Do”: Uses and Tactics.” On Spiegel, G.M. ed. Practicing History: New Directions in Historical Writing after the Linguistic Turn. Routledge New York, 213-223.
Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBPa). nd. “Filling the Gaps: Findings from the 2012 Survey of Subclass 457 Employers and Employees.” www.immi.gov.au/pub-res/Documents/research/filling-gaps.pdf. (accessed Mar 3 2015).
Dunn, K. C and Neuman I. V 2016 Undertaking Discourse Analysis for Social Research. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Edwards, G. 2010. “Mixed-method Approaches to Social Network Analysis’” National Centre for Research Methods. eprints.ncrm.ac.uk/842/1/Social_Network_analysis_Edwards.pdf. (accessed Feb 10, 2016).
Granovetter, M.S 1973. “The Strength of Weak Ties.” American Journal of Sociology 78(6): 1360-1380.
Hawthorne, L. 2010. “How Valuable is ‘Two-Step Migration’? Labour market Outcomes for International Student Migrants to Australia.” Asia and Pacific Migration Journal 19(1): 5-36.
Hoang, L. A. 2016. ‘Vietnamese Migrant Networks in Taiwan: the Curse and Boon of Social Capital’ Ethnic and Racial Studies 39(4): 690-707.
Horgan, M and Liinamaa, S. 2016. “The Social-quarantining of Migrant Labour: everyday Effects of Temporary Foreign Worker Regulation in Canada.”Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
Khoo, S., McDonald, P., Voigt-Graf, C., and Hugo, G. 2007. “A Global Labour Market: Factors Motivating the Sponsorship and Temporary Migration of Skilled Workers to Australia.” IMR 41(2): 480-510.
Krippner, G.R. 2001. “The Elusive Market: Embeddedness and the Paradigm of Economic Sociology” Theory and Society 30(6):775-810.
Krippner, G.R. and Alvarez, A. S. 2007. EEmbeddedness and the Intellectual Projects of Economic Sociology” Annual Review of Sociology 33:219-40.
Mayes, R. 2015. “Transnational Temporary Skilled Labour Migration: Intersections of Policy, Industry Practice and Experiences of Migrancy in Australia” ILERA.
McDonald, P., Mayes, R. & Pini, B. 2012 ‘Mining Work, Family and Community: A Spatially-Oriented Approach to the Impact of the Ravensthorpe Nickel mine Closure in Remote Australia.” Journal of Industrial Relations, 54(1), 22-40.
Migration Council Australia. nd. “More than Temporary: Australia’s 457 Visa Program.” www.migrationcouncil.org.au/assets/files/8168a3189.pdf. (accessed March 1, 2015).
Nguyen Long, L. A. 2015. “Institutions, Information Exchange, and Migrant Social Networks in Rome.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 38(15): 2722-2737.
OECD. 2014. “International Migration Outlook 2014.” OECD Publishing. /dx.doi.org/10.1787/migr_outlook-2014-en. (accessed March 10, 2015).
Oke, N. 2012. “Temporary Migration, Transnational Politics? The Politics of Temporary Migration in Australia.” Journal of Intercultural Studies 33 (1); 85-101.
Pini, B, Mayes, R. and McDonald, P. 2010. “The Emotional Geography of a Mine Closure: a Study of the Ravensthorpe Nickel Mine in Western Australia’ Social and Cultural Geography 11(6):550-574.
Raghuram, P., Henry, L. and Bornat, J. 2010. “Difference and Distinction?:Non-migrant and Migrant Networks’” Sociology 44(4):623-641.
Robertson, S. 2014. “Time and Temporary Migration: the Case of Temporary Graduate Workers and Working Holiday Makers in Australia.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 40(12): 1915-1933.
Ryan, L. 2011. “‘Migrants’ Social Networks and Weak Ties: Accessing Resources and Constructing Relationships Post-migration.” The Sociological Review 59(4): 707-724.
Ryan, L., Sales, R., Tilki, M. and Siara, B. 2008. ‘Social Networks, Social Support and Social Capital: the Experiences of Recent Polish Migrants in London.” Sociology 42(4): 672-690.
Schmalzbauer, L. 2009. “Gender on a New Frontier: Mexican Migration in the Rural Mountain West’ Gender and Society 23(6): 747–67.
Stanley, W. 2009 “Nothing I can do for Ravensthorpe: Barnett.” WA Today www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/nothing-i-can-do-for-ravensthorpe-barnett-20090126-7q85.html. (accessed August 27, 2016).
Taylor, S., Bogdan, R., and DeVault, M. 2016. Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods 4th edition, New Jersey: Wiley and Sons.
Tsuda, T. 1999. “The Permanence of ‘Temporary’ Migration: the ‘Structural Embeddedness’ of Japanese-Brazilian Immigrant Workers in Japan” The Journal of Asian Studies 58(3): 687-722.
Velayutham, S. 2013. “Precarious Experiences of Indians in Australia on 457 Temporary Work Visas.” The Economic and Labour Relations Review 24(3): 340-361.
Vertovec, Steven. 2003. “Migration and Other Modes of Transnationalism: Towards Conceptual Cross Fertilization.” International Migration Review 37 (3): 641–665.
Xiang, B. 2001. “Structuration of Indian Information Technology Professionals’ migration to Australia: and ethnographic study.”’ International Migration 39(5): 73-90.
Yeoh, B. S. A., Graham, E., and Boyle, P. J. 2002. “Migrations and Family Relations in the Asia Pacific Region.” Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 11(1): 1-11.
Copyright (c) 2017 Robyn Mayes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.