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SSS 2021 : Working for America: Transnational Workers during the Pandemic

New Orleans
Event Date: Apr 07, 2021 - Apr 10, 2021
Submission Deadline: Nov 04, 2020
Notification of Acceptance: Nov 05, 2020

Call For Paper

Call for Abstracts for a Proposed Session at the Southern Sociological Society Conference (April 7-10, 2021)
Organizer: Dr Rianka Roy
Session Title: Working for ‘America’: Transnational Workers during the Pandemic

The topic of this proposed session explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected workers, who work for the United States transnationally and remotely, as documented and undocumented immigrants and non-immigrants. During this health crisis, in the name of national security, the United States Government enforced various regulations that have directly and indirectly affected these workers. For instance, the Department of Homeland Security temporarily suspended H-1B visas for foreign workers seeking employment in the US. This was a continuation of the nationalist program ‘Buy American Hire American’ that started in 2017, with an aim to protect economic interests of US citizens. How do these nationalist narratives interact with the racialized process of hiring cheap indentured labor from developing nations or from marginalized ethnic communities?

The economic crisis also led to loss of projects for companies in Global South countries like India and Brazil. As a result, thousands of workers, who remotely and virtually worked for their US clients, lost their jobs. Similarly, in July 2020, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement regulation requiring international students (including graduate assistants) to attend in-person classes during the pandemic was a strong hint about the expendable status of these workers. The pandemic highlighted how even these ‘skilled’ workers, on strictly temporary and contractual projects, are systemically distanced from both citizenship rights and security.

Paper topics may include but are not limited to—transnational workers’ rights in the US, pandemic and precarity, neoliberal labor and immigration during the pandemic, gender and transnational labor, hierarchy of skills and racialized labor, and possibilities of solidarity and coalition among transnational workers.

Please send extended abstracts of 400-450 words (identifying Objective, Methods and Findings) to by November 4, 2020. Please include a. the title of the paper, b. three keywords, c. first name, last name, institution, email and position.

Link to the theme of the conference:

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