For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Pedagogies of Affect: Docility and Deference in the Making of Immigrant Women Subjects"

by Ameeriar, Lalaie (2015)


In this article, I examine the colonization of women’s intimate labor. Focusing on care work in a global perspective, I analyze how intimacy becomes a pedagogical focus in the training of foreign nurses. This article is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted through a government-funded pilot project to help foreign-trained nurses become licensed in Toronto, Ontario. While accounts of affect and labor have considered the role of gender, here I seek to bring these important studies into conversation with race- and gender-making processes in global contexts, which say more about Western notions of both femininity and the Other than about immigrant women themselves. I argue that classes for foreign-educated nurses employ what I call pedagogies of affect, which reproduce a racialized notion of femininity predicated on Western notions of docility and deference. These affective dispositions are cultivated not only in relation to doctors and those higher in the hierarchy but also in relation to patients, families, and hospital visitors. In training for their nursing exam, these women learn the virtues of docility and deference, which reproduces notions of race and gender as understood through the bodies of foreign women.

Key Passage



Immigration, Immigrant Work, Minority Groups, Womens Work, Nursing, Care Work, Female Labour, Gendered Labour, Servitude, Globalisation, Healthcare, Health Service


Domestic Labour

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