Migration and Labour - An Interdisciplinary Perspective

Migration and labour facilitate the global capitalist economy, shape the life experience of those involved, and remain as important issues in our struggle for a just society. How can we shed new light on our understanding of these traditional topics? What are the implications of the pandemic and the climate crisis upon these issues? The Anthropology Society and the Economics Society of the University of St Andrews co-hosted an interdisciplinary discussion on migration and labour in the next week. Speakers with expertise in social and economic history, anthropology of labour and migration, and social work among migrant communities discussed their research findings on 10th November, 2022.

Titles of the Presentations:

Dr Di Wu - Practising Chinese Socialism in Zambia
Dr David Escamilla-Guerrero - Understanding Refugee Migration during the Age of Mass Migration: Evidence from the Mexcan Revolution
Mrs Naseem Naushad Jivraj - Migratory Phy-s-Emos: Psycho-spatial, Psycho-social and Psycho-somatic Factors in Gendered Migration
Dr Ana Gutierrez Garza - Gender and Labour Migration

Introduction of the Speakers:

Dr Di Wu - Oxford
Dr Di Wu previously worked as a Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS, University of London (2016 – 2020), after he gained his PhD in Anthropology from London School of Economics. His doctoral research was on the everyday life of Chinese migrants in Zambia, particularly looking at issues of labour disputes, cross-cultural communication and moral interaction, and process of community building. His thesis has won the LSE Monograph Competition and the manuscript, Affective Encounters, is published by Bloomsbury as a part of the LSE Monograph on Social Anthropology Series. Following his doctoral research, currently, Di Wu is developing a new project on the spread of Chinese Humanistic Buddhism in Southern Africa.

Dr David Escamilla-Guerrero - St Andrews
David specializes in applied microeconomics. In particular, his research interests include economic history, development, and labor economics. He uses historical microdata and natural experiments of history to study diverse topics on migration economics. He also studies how historical events shape long-run development patterns. Currently, David is conducting research on Mexico-U.S. and Canada-U.S. immigration using individual border crossings.

Mrs Naseem Naushad Jivraj – LSE
Mrs Naseem Naushad Jivraj is studying the economic, social, familial, emotional , housing and legal precarity faced by migrant South Asian women in broken marital and family relationships in the UK. With rich experience in the advocacy for cultural pluralism and dialogue, Naseem is also currently working as a Life Coach at Hillingdon Women’s Centre, coaching women who have been trafficked, with experiences of domestic abuse or seeking asylum in the UK. She runs workshops in local communities in UK and abroad on the role of Emotional Intelligence, Wellbeing, and Empathy in Human Relationships and Self-Worth & Esteem to overcome stigma around mental health. In 2019 She presented my interim PhD research findings at the UK Association of Women Judges’ annual conference.

Dr Ana Gutierrez Garza - St Andrews
Dr Ana Gutierrez Garza’s research focuses on Latin American migration, gender and social inequality in the UK, Spain and The United States. A common thread runs through her various research sites: of understanding political and ethical responses to structural inequality, and showing how various social, gendered, ethical and cultural practices inform those responses which often facilitate methods and strategies of coping and persevering.
Her various field sites offer a comparative approach to the study of migration and people’s (particularly women) efforts and abilities to create possibilities for themselves in the face of precarious realities. Her lens on care and ethics has illuminated everyday day practices of resistance but also structural conditions of inequality.
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