Time of exploitation. Rhythms of migrant labour in Italian agriculture

Author: Franca Zadra


Time has been gaining migration scholars’ attention as a lens that complements the focus on spatiality that characterizes migration studies. The role of temporal dynamics in limiting the agency of migrant labour is an underdeveloped research issue. Particularly referring to migrants with legal status insecurity, not having acquired long-term residence permits in hosting countries. This contribution aims to reflect on time dynamics in relation to migrant temporary labour regimes in the agricultural field. In fact, time management in conditions of extreme power asymmetries, may generate precarity, shrink labour agency and enable exploitation towards migrant agricultural workers. The study draws from current literature and document analysis, presenting a case study, in which owners and managers of a berry farm have been charged with labour exploitation. The contribution uses this extreme situation available in detail through legal proceedings documentation, to analyse the time pressures as they intersect with other factors to reduce labour agency of asylum seekers and expose them to greater risk of labour exploitation.

DOI: 10.13131/unipi/zsxn-th10

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Notes on contributor

FRANCA ZADRA, PhD is a contract professor and researcher in the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. Coming from migration studies, her work relates to immigrant women, migration and health, intercultural education and labour exploitation. During FAMI project FARm she focused on co-constructing knowledge and interventions generating local pre-ventive networks against labour exploitation in agriculture. She is currently working in low-threshold settings on digital outreach social work as well as multiagency methodologies. Email: Franca.Zadra@unibz.it

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