chapter  3
Migrant labour in the economy
Pages 34

This chapter explores the varying ways that migrants participate in the economies of destination societies. The term 'native worker' is widely used to refer to non-immigrant workers and to distinguish between citizens and non-citizens in the labour market. Social networks tend to funnel immigrant workers into highly exploitative sectors, both inside and outside the ethnic economy. Whether one views migration in positive or negative terms, it seems, hinges on the position one occupies in the labour market and in social hierarchies. The phenomenon has been commented on in relation to the so-called trailing spouses of mobile business professionals and intra-company transferees. The concept of social capital has been especially influential in discussions of immigrant entrepreneurialism and the clustering of immigrant-owned small business in certain economic sectors. An important concept that appears in discussions of immigrant entrepreneurialism is middleman minority. Social networks, McDowell and her associates recognize, are an important factor in explaining the segmentation of workers in the hotel industry.