NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1174652
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-May
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
Engineering Commodifiable Workers: Language, Migration and the Governmentality of the Self
Del Percio, Alfonso
Language Policy, v17 n2 p239-259 May 2018
This article examines the strategies and forms of expertise on language and communication mobilized to engineer commodifiable migrant workers. Drawing on an ethnographic account of counselling practices in a state-run Italian job guidance centre for newly arrived migrants, I examine the calculations, tactics, and forms of expertise on language and communication mobilised by job counsellors. Here, I illustrate how these tactics regulate, or "police", migrants' communicational conduct and promote their socialisation into a desirable professional self that can be commodified on the Italian job market. In doing so, I demonstrate that the state's investment in the policing of migrants and the commodifiability of their labour is an investment in a larger project of societal consent for both the arriving migrants and for the forms of precarity they are believed to embody in Italy. At the same time, I argue this state agenda should not make us blind to the fact that the individuals and actors, including professional counsellors, working in these job guidance centres seem ready to invest a great deal into these spaces in the interest of pursuing another, more emancipated agenda. Indeed, in my paper I aim to demonstrate that job guidance centres are also spaces of hope where people work to support migrants who are preparing themselves for a viable future and attempting to create the practical framework for their life projects.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A