Low-Status Work, Community, and Decollectivization
(Lecturer, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, New York College, Greece)
Book Description: • How does low-status work of Nigerian immigrants affect their organization and representation in immigrant community associations and unions? • How do Nigerian immigrants perceive and what practices do they develop towards the collective organization, representation and claim of work rights? The sociological research in this book emphasizes that the lack of permanent employment and restriction of immigrants in precarious, low-status/paid occupations distance them from both collectivities and claims. By introducing a new perspective on the investigation of the migration phenomenon in Greece, this book contributes significantly to relative international research and literature. This makes it an extremely useful source for researchers and students, public agencies or bodies and for those dealing with the phenomenon of immigration and immigration policy. In the first part of the book, the clarification of the theoretical concepts of community, occupational community and low-status work in the migration context is attempted. The impact that low-status/paid work has on immigrant collectivities is analyzed and the types of immigrant community associations and the attitude of the Greek trade unions towards the immigrants are discussed. Moreover, an overview of international empirical research on Nigerian immigrants, as well as on studies that focus on the investigation of immigrant community associations in Greece is endeavored. The second part of the book concentrates on the consequences low-status/paid work has on the collective organization and representation of the immigrant workforce. The micro-sociological research and analysis examines the case of Nigerian immigrants in Greece and how the frame of their work and their employment affects their participation in the immigrant hometown association Nigerian Community in Greece and in Greek trade unions. The results based on in-depth interviews demonstrate that due to the ramifications of their work, Nigerians are cut off, do not claim established workers’ rights and do not seek membership in any community associations or unions. In contrast, Nigerian immigrant workers depend on informal and impersonal social networks in search of solidarity and thus resort to alternative means of ensuring survival in Greek society, choosing individualistic and materialistic perceptions and attitudes of regulating their difficulties and workers’ rights, far from collectivities, often resigning from them completely. (Imprint: Nova)
Table of Contents:
List of Tables
List of Figures
About the Author
Chapter 1. Theoretical Clarifications
Chapter 2. International Research on Nigerian Immigrants
Chapter 3. International Research on Immigrant Associations in Greece
Chapter 4. Research Methodology
Chapter 5. Immigrants from Nigeria in Greece
Chapter 6. Epilogue
Appendix: Statistical Data on Nigerians
Series: Immigration in the 21st Century: Political, Social and Economic Issues
“This book provides rich insights into the lives of migrants in Greece, portraying them not as victims or hustlers but people. Fouskas’ analysis of the impact of insecurity and deregulation on the Nigerian community has important lessons for all those interested in labour organising, migration and work across the European Union. Readers will see street vendors with a new appreciation of their lives and struggles after reading this fascinating study.” –Reviewed by Bridget Anderson, Professor of Migration and Citizenship, Deputy Director at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford.
“This important study provides a perceptive and comprehensive overview of the Nigerian immigrant experience in Greece. Creatively combining interviews with survey and census data, Fouskas vividly recounts the hopes, dreams, fears, trials, and triumphs of this emerging ethnic community with clarity and compassion. This book will become a reference point for research on low-status work, immigrant organizations, collective organizing, and labor rights in Greece. It not only effectively summarizes what we know about this immigrant group, but also puts a human face to how Nigerian immigrants have quietly, yet profoundly, reshaped Greek society today.” – Reviewed by Van C. Tran, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Columbia University.
“Dr Th. Fouskas provides us with a scholarly first-class study of Nigerian migrant labour in Greece. It considerably adds to our understanding and through a penetrating macro and micro sociological analysis deprives us of misconceptions, clichés and theoretical fallacies of the origins, patterns and functions of migrant workers’ exclusion. It is a valuable book for students and experts in migration, community and work studies.” – Reviewed by Iordanis Psimmenos, Associate Professor, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Greece.
“Dr. Theodoros Fouskas, with his book Nigerian Immigrants in Greece: Low-status Work, Community, and Decollectivization, has stimulated an imperative discussion of the severe effects of precarious, low-status work on the collective organization of immigrant workers in the 21st century. This well-conceptualized book and unique in-depth research deals with crucial questions and complex issues and offers invaluable insights with remarkable efficiency. It helps fill a significant gap in Greek and international literature and should be recommended to academics, researchers, policymakers and all those seeking comprehension of labor and immigration issues. Its thorough analysis with sufficient clarity also makes it a required source suitable for classroom use. The book contributes significantly to the current discourse concerning the difficulties caused by acute employment precariousness in immigrant community organization, association formation and participation, immigrant workers’ representation, social and labor rights, trade unionism and solidarity and how these should be combated within a contemporary insecure socio-economic context.” – Reviewed by Angelos Syrigos, Assistant Professor, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Secretary General of Population and Social Cohesion, Ministry of Interior, Greece.