Temporary Employment Agencies in Ontario: Experiences of South Asian Immigrant Women
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Informed by the feminist political economy perspective (FPE), this study examines the experiences of recent South Asian immigrant women working through temporary employment agencies in Ontario, paying particular attention to how social factors such as gender, race and immigrant status shape these experiences. As FPE pays attention to the interconnection between family, state and market, the study examines how women experience precariousness at work, within the household, and trying to settle and integrate. Based on analysis of twelve qualitative interviews and observations as a participant-researcher, findings indicate that recent South Asian immigrant women are funneled into agency work due to a variety of structural barriers, and that the lack of rights associated with agency work leaves them particularly vulnerable to exploitation and poverty. As such, it is proposed that changes must address a lack of security and enforcement of employment standards, and barriers to employment for women and recent immigrants.