What’s in a Name? Immigration Controls and Subjectivities: The Case of Au Pair and Domestic Worker Visa Holders in the UK Bridget Anderson

Introduction

This article examines how immigration controls and practices work with (and against) migratory processes and migrant subjectivities to help produce types of labour with particular relations to employers, and types of resident with particular relations to citizens. It considers the social and legal construction of the figure of the migrant, and taking the case of au pair and domestic worker visa holders, examines how and why it is that despite these two groups doing the same kinds of tasks, the ways in which these tasks are imagined, and the relationships produced, are often very different. It illustrates how immigration controls, social and historical conditions, and life stages and subjectivities help explain the different experiences of different visa holders, and shape the possibilities for collective action.

Anderson, B. (2009) ‘What’s in a Name? Immigration Controls and Subjectivities: The Case of Au Pair and Domestic Worker Visa Holders in the UK’, Subjectivity, 29: 407-424