Restrictions and Resistance in The Postcolonial Periphery: Labour Power and Skilled Migrant Workers in The United Kingdom.
Central to the understanding of work in and by the Global South are processes of migration, in particular, international mobility. Work undertaken by workers originating from the Global South is often located within industrialized economies of the Global North where their labour is expropriated. The flow perspective of the labour process (Smith, 2010) provides a sophisticated conceptualization of the labour process and labour power that is sensitive to flows of international migration but is silent in terms of an analysis of racial and ethnic discrimination, wider structural effects of the political economy on the migrant labour process and North-South power relations and asymmetries. Postcolonial studies provide a useful corrective to theories developed from the perspective of the Global North, such as LPT, by foregrounding colonial, decolonial and neocolonial relationships between metropolitan-core and colonial-peripheries in the global political economy, as well as the agency and collective solidarities of subaltern actors from the Global South. Therefore, LPT stands to benefit from a postcolonial orientation by developing a more nuanced and sophisticated analysis of work in and by the Global South. Insufficient attention to issues in the political economy and how this relates to the labour process have been identified as a weakness in LPT research, leading several authors to identify a nascent ‘fourth wave’ of LPT characterised by a stronger emphasis on the political economy through an analysis of capital-labour relations ‘beyond the workplace’ (Thompson and Smith, 2010). This chapter makes a theoretical contribution to the emergence of fourth wave LPT by developing a conceptualization of the relationship between the migrant labour process and core-periphery power relations from a postcolonial perspective. Postcolonial theory is not homogeneous, it is more appropriate to refer to it as postcolonial theories because it comprises a heterogeneous mix of theories including discursive and materialist approaches (Young, 1998; Jack et al., 2011; Loomba, 2015; Kerner, 2013, 2018). A postcolonial approach grounded in a materialist analysis of the political economy and culture (Lazarus, 2011, 2012, 2016; Mignolo, 2000; Quijano, 2000; Grosfoguel, 2002; Parry, 2004; Chandra, 2017; Rao, 2017; Deckard and Varma, 2019) will be drawn on in this chapter in order to develop an analysis of the migrant labour process in the context of North–South power relations and asymmetries (Kerner, 2018).
Citation : Ejiogu, C. (2020) Restrictions and Resistance in The Postcolonial Periphery: Labour Power and Skilled Migrant Workers in The United Kingdom. In: Hammer, A. and Fishwick, A. (eds.) The Political Economy of Work in the Global South: Reflections on Labour Process Theory. Critical Perspectives on Work and Employment Book Series, Palgrave Macmillan. London: Red Globe Press.
ISBN : 9781352009767
Research Institute : People, Organisations and Work Institute (POWI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes