Refugees, Law and the Courts

These videos were recorded at the Migration Matters Panel on Tuesday, November 25, 2014. Panelists: David Murray (Professor, Department of Anthropology) Dagmar Soennecken (Associate Professor, School of Public Policy & Administration & Department of Social Science) Emily Chan (Staff Lawyer | Community Development, … Continue reading


Precarious Pathways to Migration

These videos were recorded at the Migration Matters Panel on Thursday, October 23, 2014.


Kamala Kempadoo (Professor, Department of Social Science)

Maya Shapiro (Course Director, Department of Anthropology)

Luann Good Gingrich (Associate Professor, School of Social Work) & Julie Young (Research Associate, Centre for Refugee Studies)

Kamala Kempadoo

Sex Trafficking or Sexual Labour Migration?

“I will discuss differences between the two approaches to migrant women’s participation in sex industries, particularly in the global north, and implications for interventions and theory.”

 Maya Shapiro

Conceptions of Citizenship: Intersections of Pregnancy, Reproductive Health and Precarity in Women’s Paths of Migration

“In this presentation I draw on ethnographic research to illustrate the ways in which pregnancy and reproductive health figured prominently into the precarious paths of migration that women chose or had chosen for them in Tel Aviv, Israel between 2009 and 2011. I use these observations to explore new avenues of research in Texas, USA, a distinct location that is nevertheless similarly situated in a conceptual framework that links strategy, choice and liminality.”

Luann Good Gingrich & Julie Young

The “choice” of necessity: Central American migrant women negotiating the southern border of Mexico

“Our presentation will draw from a pilot project with colleagues in Canada and Mexico that seeks to understand the impacts of Mexican, Central American, and US policies on the lives of individual migrant women living near the Mexico-Guatemala border and how they negotiate various borders as they attempt to care for themselves and their (often transnational) families. The women’s narratives underscore how global processes, especially wider economic and political systems, influence the “choices” that are available to migrant women in this region.”


Bios of the Presenters:

 Kamala Kempadoo

Kamala-KempadooKamala Kempadoo is Professor in the Department of Social Science, affiliated with Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Development Studies. She is a former director of the Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought. She considers herself a transnational feminist, having lived and worked in Britain, the Netherlands, the USA, several countries in the Dutch- and English-speaking Caribbean, and, since 2002, in Canada.  Kamala teaches courses in Caribbean studies, transnational feminisms, sex work studies and Black Studies.  Her publications include Global Sex Workers (1998); Sun, Sex and Gold: Tourism and Sex Work in the Caribbean (1999); Sexing the Caribbean (2004), Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered (2005/12) and an issue of the Caribbean Review of Gender Studies on feminist methodologies. She is currently coordinating an exchange between York University and the universities of Guyana and Suriname around gender studies and research.

 mayaMaya Shapiro

Maya Shapiro completed her doctorate in the Department of Anthropology at York University. She has worked as an organizer, researcher and translator with Seasonal Agricultural Workers and Live-in Caregivers in Ontario and British Colombia, and with undocumented migrants and asylum seekers in Toronto and Tel Aviv. Maya’s current teaching and research interests include illegalized migration; the politics of pregnancy, abortion and birth; reproductive tourism and global health.

 luannLuann Good Gingrich

Luann Good Gingrich is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at York University. Her scholarship focuses on the analysis of official procedures and everyday practices of social division as they function at the nexus of work, social policy, and human services. She studies the dynamics of social exclusion for groups made differently marginal (including immigrants and refugees, racialized individuals and groups, low-value workers in Canada’s temporary visa programs, women migrating alone in Central America, and ethno-culturally distinct populations) toward informed policies and practices of social inclusion. Integrating theory development and empirical research, her teaching and research pays special attention to the intersections between ideas, material realities and subjective experience of policy systems and social programs.

 Julie Young

Julie Young is a Research Associate at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University and an instructor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University. She completed her doctorate in Geography at York in 2012.  She has worked as a researcher in academic, public sector, and non-profit settings. Her dissertation focused on collaborative advocacy across the Canada-US border in response to the Central American refugee ‘crisis’ of the late-1980s. Her ongoing research program considers borders in relation to movements of people, raising questions of citizenship, agency, and politics.

Migration at the margins: Work, profit, or nation-building?

These videos are part of a panel at the Kick-Off event for the Migration Matters program.

Luin Goldring

Andrew Crane

Leah Vosko (Department of Political Science; Canada Research Chair, Feminist Political Economy)

Luin Goldring (Department of Sociology)

Andrew Crane (Schulich School of Business; Director, Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business)

(For more details, See YFile story)

Andrew Crane

In this video, Crane will draw on his work exploring vulnerable populations.

“I’ll be talking about the business of modern slavery and how the business models of forced labour exploit the vulnerabilities of migrants,” says Crane. His comments are based on his November 2013 publication, Forced labour’s business models and supply chains for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. In it, Crane and his colleagues analyzed how businesses make money from forced labour.  They consider how the structure of the United Kingdom’s economy through “light-touch” regulation of business and a heavy hand on immigration, creates a segment of the workforce, at or near the national minimum wage, susceptible to forced labour.

Luin Goldring

Goldring will talk about her work on the relationship between precarious employment and precarious migrant legal status, based on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada funded collaborative project with University of Toronto sociology Professor Patricia Landolt.

Goldring and Landolt’s research on immigrant workers’ employment experiences in Toronto examines the effects of several measures including human capital, network, labor market variables, and a change in legal status variable on job precarity as measured by an eight-indicator Index of Precarious Work. They find that precarious legal status has a long-lasting, negative effect on job precarity. Respondents who entered and remained in a precarious migratory status and those who shifted to secure status were more likely to remain in precarious work compared to respondents who entered with and remained in a secure status.

Specifically, Goldring will discuss concepts used to analyze transitions through intersecting work–citizenship insecurities, where prior locations have the potential to exert long-term effects, transitions may continue to occur over the life-course, and gains on one front are not always matched on others.