Accepted Paper:

"They are here to stay": a study of foreign nurses on temporary work permits in Halifax, Canada  

Author:

Shiva Nourpanah (Dalhousie University)

Paper short abstract:

Based on recent fieldwork with foreign nurses who entered Canada on temporary permits. I present an account of the affectual states of the research participants as they negotiate a complicated labour and migration policy regime in search of stable employment, residence and professional recognition.

Paper long abstract:

This study draws on fieldwork done between April 2015-August 2016 in Halifax, Canada, with foreign nurses employed in healthcare, who entered Canada on temporary permits. Through a series of 29 qualitative interviews with foreign nurses, augmented with nine consultations with experts from stakeholder agencies involved in their migration and employment, I present an in-depth account of the affectual states of the research participants as they navigate and negotiate an increasingly complicated labour and migration policy regime in search of stable employment, permanent residence and professional recognition. I use a Weberian theoretical framework on the relations between state and society, and Marxian concepts of the reconfiguration of class relations under capitalist employment regimes, together with contemporary accounts of mobility regimes and neoliberal healthcare workplaces to study the multiple bureaucratic processes which enmesh foreign nurses. My findings uncover a set of interlinked affective states, ranging from ambivalence, anxiety, stress (both positive and negative), to gratitude, loyalty, resentment and fear and a "smoothing over" of unpleasant racialized workplace interactions which are experienced by the participants, and are structurally produced through the conditions which regulates their migration and labour.

Panel RM-MRB10
The bureaucratic routes to migration: migrants' lived experience of paperwork, clerks and other immigration intermediaries