"Migrant Belongings"

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Platformization of migration (SESSION 4.2): Digital technology and social media usage are enabling migrants cross-border mobility and connectivity thus shaping transnational processes in multiple ways. The same platforms are also used by capital in order to trigger and then channel these migrant mobilities so that they match businesses’ demand for migrant labour. This perspective is currently lacking as scholarship focuses on either the role of the state/enforcement agencies or migrants themselves. In order to examine the role of capital in instigating, shaping and managing migrants’ mobilities and everyday life entails understanding platforms not just as ‘social’ in their usage but also as steeped in processes aimed at extracting labour and profit. This is best visible when we examine the role of platforms in engendering and controlling labour migration. What interests us in particular is how capital makes use of digital technologies and social media in order to recruit, move and put to work migrant workers in exceptionally short time. In other words, it imposes a very specific directionality and temporality onto migration, both of which are motivated by ‘just-in-time’ business model that aims to produce what is needed, at the time needed, and in the quantity needed. We will discuss how such a temporal order creates ‘on-demand’ migration characterized by short migratory cycles, vulnerability to exploitation and depletion of everyday social reproduction. Platformization of migration thus entails, as we see it, making visible not only the extent to which platforms structure contemporary migratory experiences but also the ways in which they subsume migration into the business logic of platforms, thus significantly limiting migrants’ ability to claim or enforce their social and employment rights.

Chair: Rutvica Andrijasevic, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Speakers: Marc Steinberg, Concordia University, Canada – “Platforms have a hardware history”; Melissa Gregg, Client Computing Group, Intel – “Circuits of consumption and production”; Rutvica Andrijasevic, University of Bristol, UK – “On-demand migrant labour”; Julie Yujie Chen, University of Toronto, Canada - Temporal arbitrage and fragmented rush
Period22 Apr 2021
Event typeConference
LocationUtrecht , NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Structured keywords

  • Migration Mobilities Bristol
  • Gender Research Group
  • MGMT theme Work Futures