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Does Skill Make Us Human?: Migrant Workers in 21st-Century Qatar and Beyond Kindle Edition
An in-depth look at Qatar's migrant workers and the place of skill in the language of control and power
Skill—specifically the distinction between the “skilled” and “unskilled”—is generally defined as a measure of ability and training, but Does Skill Make Us Human? shows instead that skill distinctions are used to limit freedom, narrow political rights, and even deny access to imagination and desire. Natasha Iskander takes readers into Qatar’s booming construction industry in the lead-up to the 2022 World Cup, and through her unprecedented look at the experiences of migrant workers, she reveals that skill functions as a marker of social difference powerful enough to structure all aspects of social and economic life.
Through unique access to construction sites in Doha, in-depth research, and interviews, Iskander explores how migrants are recruited, trained, and used. Despite their acquisition of advanced technical skills, workers are commonly described as unskilled and disparaged as “unproductive,” “poor quality,” or simply “bodies.” She demonstrates that skill categories adjudicate personhood, creating hierarchies that shape working conditions, labor recruitment, migration policy, the design of urban spaces, and the reach of global industries. Iskander also discusses how skill distinctions define industry responses to global warming, with employers recruiting migrants from climate-damaged places at lower wages and exposing these workers to Qatar’s extreme heat. She considers how the dehumanizing politics of skill might be undone through tactical solidarity and creative practices.
With implications for immigrant rights and migrant working conditions throughout the world, Does Skill Make Us Human? examines the factors that justify and amplify inequality.
“Combining rich theoretical discussion with fieldwork and extensive interviews, this innovative and wide-ranging book promises to change how we think about labor in the Gulf region. Paying careful attention to the lived experience of migrant work, Iskander provides a searching account of labor exploitation in Qatar and myriad forms of worker resistance. Highly recommended!”―Adam Hanieh, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter
“This book is a remarkable accomplishment for its theoretical innovation, the astonishing fieldwork upon which it is based, and its clear and cogent findings about the new forms of training, organizing, and regulating workers emerging from the Persian Gulf region. A must-read for policymakers, scholars, and anyone committed to protecting labor rights in the future.”―Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College and Harvard University --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B094XB4LKS
- Publisher : Princeton University Press (November 9, 2021)
- Publication date : November 9, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 3178 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 353 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0691217572
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #567,737 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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The idea of SKILL being more important than the way we are treated or seen should be a warning for us all that we never lose our humanity or allow others to be taken advantage of. A powerful and important look at the way others are treated based on what they have to offer rather than who they are. A must read for sure.