Crafting ‘enterprising’ workers through career training programs among Canada’s South Asian professional immigrants

Maitra, S. (2017) Crafting ‘enterprising’ workers through career training programs among Canada’s South Asian professional immigrants. Studies in the Education of Adults, 49(2), pp. 196-213. (doi: 10.1080/02660830.2018.1453114)

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Abstract

In the current post-Fordist, neoliberal Canadian state, the concept of the ‘enterprising self’ has come to define worker-subjectivity and ability to access the labour market. The discourse of entrepreneurialism promotes individual initiatives and resources as the most useful qualities necessary to be successful in the neoliberal labour market. This paper, based on two qualitative research projects examines the mechanism through which enterprising conduct is instilled within immigrants in Canada. In particular, the focus is on South Asian immigrants to take up questions of how racialised immigrants fit into the enterprise culture. This is an area that has remained understudied, despite the fact that immigrants of colour in Canada are consistently pushed towards re-training and re-skilling because of their higher rates of un/under employment in Canada. Informed by the theories of governmentality, the paper highlights two findings; first, it demonstrates how work-related training programs offered by the settlement agencies in Canada advocate the importance of being ‘enterprising’ by harping on discourses of self-sufficiency and personal endeavour to become productive workers; second, the programs implicitly correct or redress immigrants of colour to conform to the hegemonic Eurocentric codes underlying normative citizenship. In foregrounding the experiences of South Asian immigrants, this paper thus explores how the process of neoliberal subject making, particularly in the first world countries, has a racial and cultural undertone. Racism continues to circulate powerfully in the neoliberal era, reordering existing modes of inclusion and exclusion which, having been relegated to the realm of private choice becomes difficult to pinpoint.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Maitra, Dr Srabani
Authors: Maitra, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Journal Name:Studies in the Education of Adults
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0266-0830
ISSN (Online):1478-9833
Published Online:04 April 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
First Published:First published in Studies in the Education of Adults 49(2): 196-213
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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