Migrant workers navigating the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK: Resilience, reworking and resistance

Article


Miles, L., Freeman, T., Polzin, A., Reitz, R. and Croucher, R. 2023. Migrant workers navigating the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK: Resilience, reworking and resistance. Economic and Industrial Democracy. https://doi.org/10.1177/0143831X231199874
TypeArticle
TitleMigrant workers navigating the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK: Resilience, reworking and resistance
AuthorsMiles, L., Freeman, T., Polzin, A., Reitz, R. and Croucher, R.
Abstract

Drawing on qualitative data, we apply Katz’s conceptual framework of agency as resilience, reworking and resistance practices to theorise UK migrant workers’ responses to worsened employment conditions, stress of unemployment and reduced incomes during the pandemic. We draw attention to the range of micro practices they adopted to survive and rework existing conditions to their advantage - actions which rarely feature in academic writing, yet which recognise those who do not ‘resist’ as conscious agents who exercise power. Meanwhile, although outright oppositional responses to deteriorating employment conditions are rare, we demonstrate the nature of workplace union representation as a central factor in resisting managerial control. We extend Katz’s framework by considering the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind migrant workers’ responses, to understand better their dynamic choices of resilience, reworking and resistance practices in the chaotic circumstances of the pandemic.

KeywordsAgency; migrant workers; networks; pandemic; precarious employment; resilience; reworking; unions
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
LanguageEnglish
PublisherSAGE Publications
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
ISSN0143-831X
Electronic1461-7099
Publication dates
Print30 Sep 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited26 May 2023
Accepted25 May 2023
Output statusPublished
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Open
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open
Copyright Statement

The author accepted manuscript is made available in this repository in accordance with the publisher's (SAGE) self-archiving policy for an Institutional Repository https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/posting-to-an-institutional-reposit...

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/0143831X231199874
Web of Science identifierWOS:001073215000001
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