Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Troubling “volunteering”: unwaged migrant labor as “non-work”  
Katrin Kremmel (University of Vienna)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper, I zoom in on “volunteering” among people classified as asylum seekers. I conceptualize their “volunteering” as unwaged labor within provision arrangements for forced migrants. I situate my analysis historically by tracing the articulation of “volunteering” policies since the 1980s, targeting “migrants” and “non-migrants” alike.

Paper long abstract:

Emerging debates on “volunteering” in relation to forced migration largely conceive of “volunteering” as civic participation delivered by citizens of the Global North in the Global North with refugees as their beneficiaries. This focus positions “citizens” and “refugees” in an asymmetrical relationship, where the power to act lies with the former, while the latter is cast as destitute and in need. Further, these debates fail to historically situate “volunteering” as unwaged labor and therewith as part and parcel of provision arrangements for asylum seekers and refugees.

I counter these hegemonic frames by zooming in on two initiatives in Western Austria, which sought to engage people classified as “asylum seekers” in “volunteering” with the aim of “integrating” them into the local labor market. I look into the social processes through which the asylum seekers’ unwaged labor is constructed as “non-work” in binary opposition to “proper work”. I argue that “volunteering” comes to constitute a mode of provisioning for asylum seekers, in light of the dispossession of their right to work. I situate my discussion historically as I trace the emergence of “volunteering” as an object of knowledge production since the 1980s, which led to the articulation of policies aiming to strengthen the “civic participation” of “migrants” and “non-migrants” alike.

Panel P070
Making ends meet: Exploring social provisioning beyond migrant/non-migrant binaries
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -