Expats on the move: flexibility in the workplace and in the workout
Stoyanka Andreeva Eneva (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Paper short abstract:
This paper aims to analyse a cosmopolitan enclave composed by young US and British women living in Madrid, exploring their practices based on informality, precarity and integration difficulties and contrast them with the self-narrative of an expats´ group sharing information about work and leisure.
Paper long abstract:
Expat communities are often associated with wealth, high qualified jobs, red-carpet treatment and fast-track immigration procedures. Even if in some cases this is not the reality, persons who migrate from the Global North to the Global South or, in our case, from the West to the West, are still considered expats and not immigrants. This paper aims to explore the paradox between creating an image of cosmopolitan and ¨dolce vita¨ way of living and practices based on precarity, informality, lack of knowledge of the local language and culture and dependence of compatriots´ support. Such practices have often been related to stigmatization of Global South immigrants and irregular migration status. The present text is based on ethnographic and autoethnographic research conducted during five months in three different environments: a yoga class, a women boxing class and the facebook group ¨Girl gone international Madrid¨. The three of them are ran and frequented mainly by US and British women living in Madrid. No matter what their education or profession is, the majority of them has been able to find a job only as part-time English teachers. The final aim of the text is to explore the potential of these spaces where women shape their bodies and their knowledge about the city and to find connections and similarities between ethnic enclaves in Madrid framed in a very different way: as expat communities or as migrant ghettos.
Cosmopolitan enclaves: tensions and paradoxes