Syrians have consistently been used as a political tool to fit whichever role most benefits a given group at any given time. Since the initial response of the Turkish government to the arrival of Syrians in the country in March , there have been structured contradictions in their representation and reception. On the one hand, some Syrians have been treated as depoliticized humanitarian receivers detached from the revolutionary political position which caused many to leave Syria.
They have been welcomed along lines of religious fraternity, or used cynically as leverage for receiving European Union funds during the EU-Turkey deal. The public rhetoric and policies towards Syrians have also changed over time, from an early adherence to hospitality from the government, to the present situation where all political parties have committed to their removal from the country. Discrimination from various opposition political parties, notably the centrist CHP and right-wing IYI party, has consistently invoked an anti-Syrian platform along either secular, nationalist, or economic lines.
A certain segment of secular and urban elite society may criticize Syrians as part of a wider discontent with the ruling government and their policies, their discrimination becoming blurred with what may be termed Islamophobia. Many workers criticize Syrians not as fellow and equal workers, but as having an unfair advantage in undercutting their labor opportunities. There are legitimate anxieties, particularly among Alevi populations, that some jihadist groups from Syria might be located in refugee camps.
The welcoming rhetoric of the government and its policies, which have technically provided registered Syrians with access to healthcare and education, as well as the visible humanitarian support from the international community, have also worked to create antagonisms against them.
4. Race, immigration and discrimination
Furthermore, actual government policies towards Syrians have carved hierarchies and consolidated inequalities based on education, employment, wealth, religion, and political allegiance. A reported seventy-five thousand Syrians, around two percent of their total population in Turkey the figure comes from a recent newspaper report which does not give its source [vii] , have become naturalized citizens.
Citizenship rights are mostly accessible to those who have graduated from Turkish universities, work in specialized professions such as doctors, scientists, business wo men, or those who have sufficient funds to buy property in Turkey, which immediately qualifies one for citizenship.
These conditions for achieving citizenship status have arguably aligned this demographic quite tightly to the fate of the ruling party, revealing the underlying capitalist motivations behind providing sanctuary for the displaced. Simultaneously, other Syrians are made insecure and vulnerable. The temporary protection status renewal, which Syrians must complete in order to remain registered, reportedly entails asking questions of a political nature, rumors of which dissuade many Syrians from undergoing the process, leaving those of particular political allegiance vulnerable to future forced deportation, population transfer, and effective criminalization.
Prior to the most recent campaigns, forced deportations had been ongoing for the past four years , mainly from border regions but increasingly from other metropoles.
Views on race, immigration and discrimination | Pew Research Center
Refugee camps, which only house eight percent of the total population of Syrians, have been increasingly dismantled. The vast majority of Syrians making up the ninety percent of the population who do not have a work permit are members of the illegalized labor subordination. Their bodies become disposable and precarious, not only through insecure livelihoods and employment, but also through a temporary and arbitrary legal status. They cannot join unions, find themselves exposed to workplaces with poor health and safety mechanisms , and children are rendered vulnerable to underage labor.
According to the Wall Street Journal , the Turkish government is working on a plan to relocate , Syrians to territories that it is planning to seize from US-backed Kurdish groups in northern Syria. Much of the anti-Syrian discrimination has emerged from a nationalist and militarist discourse which criticizes Syrians for not taking up arms to defend their country.
I still cannot forget those days. But a Kurd and a Syrian cannot be compared. My grandpa's blood was spilled on this land, not Syrians'. They are refugees. It highlights the multiple registers through which a militarist discourse is employed, not just in the service of Turkish nationalism but also to promote belonging among other groups.
And it also indicates how racism and discrimination are not confined to targeting Syrian refugees. What we seek to understand, is how not only the mobility of things, but also the mobility of labour, is subject to deep transformations given the ubiquity of digital technology. While inherently connected to the mobility of things, labour power is a commodity unlike any other and its mobility has special qualities.
Digitisation is an important factor of the contemporary transformation of labour and its mobility. Digital technology and infrastructure has changed existing jobs and created new ones and these changes come with spatial and temporal transformations, impacting the mobility of labour.
Racism, Sexism, Power and Ideology
Two ethnographies have investigated the digitisation of labour in relation to the mobility of Indian IT workers. Here, we do not only see a dynamically changing geography of mobile labour and digital circulation, but we can also understand how it impacts local social relations, in this case namely the traditional institution of dowry and related gender relations. Another important ethnography by Aneesh Aneesh investigates the circulation of data and labour power, including the Indian IT workers who stay in India but work for Western companies.
Many Indian corporations have developed what is known as the model, with a small office and some 25 per cent of the workers abroad and the rest of the workforce staying in India. These processes connect the Indian IT hot spots and their own specific patterns of local and national mobility with various other global sites in multiple and complex ways, adding another dimension to common outsourcing practices. As a result, it is sometimes difficult to determine what is actually moving: data, labour or both? Today, ten years later, the patterns described by Xiang and Aneesh continue to be important while the global geography of digital labour continues to be dynamic and changing.
For example, the increasing importance of digital labour via crowdwork platforms and apps for mobile phones, allows the immediate outsourcing of digital labour directly to an increasing number of workers from all over the world.
About De Gruyter
This is a factor in the further diversification of the structure and geography of outsourced digital labour and the emergence of new hot spots beyond the well-known locations in South East Asia. The nature of IT labour, or the nature of its product, has a certain quality that complicates the demarcation between the categories of mobility of labour and the mobility of goods. By means of the internet, a certain form of data can be sent almost instantaneously, at a small cost and other friction over great distances.
Networked infrastructures and software allow the global transmission of data in milliseconds so that, for example, different labourers can work simultaneously on the same project while being on two different continents.
- Racism does not need racists;
- Race, Nation, and News in the United States?
- Login using?
- Information Studies, Race and Racism?
This of course concerns mobility patterns and challenges our understanding of migration and racism. Far from striving for a comprehensive picture of these developments, we want to trace a few of these tendencies and emerging geographies and connect some existing analytical tools in order to better understand them. We discuss this as a particular form of labour in the gaming industry, also evoking questions about the implicit processes of racialisation in such forms of mobile digital labour.
Moving on, we connect the entailed challenges to the concept of migration to the idea of the multiplication of labour as developed by Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson, 6 Cp. We could argue that migration as a trans-border practice has somehow always conceptually challenged nationalist framings of research and theory, and since at least the debates on transnationalism in the early s forced us to think beyond methodological nationalism. This tendency becomes even more complex once mobile labour is dis-embedded from the actual movement across borders, as we argue here.
As Mezzadra and Neilson have so convincingly demonstrated, it calls for an understanding of the border as not only a concrete line between two nations, but as a productive and manifold machine that exists on multiple levels and produces variegated zones of mobility and immobility. Finally, the process we describe as virtual or digital migration, requires us to tie labour and mobility closer together when thinking about migration.
An obvious and valid question to the idea of virtual migration concerns the conceptual difference to outsourcing and offshoring. Aneesh anchors his claim of the difference of virtual migration to outsourcing and offshoring first and foremost in the new possibilities of spatial and temporal integration provided by digital technologies.
While digital media technologies allow for a certain form of spatio-temporal integration and connection, we do not intend to construct a clear break between outsourcing or offshoring and virtual migration. In fact, the spatio-temporal integration and distance of globally-dispersed sites of labour and consumption have always been a question of infrastructures of circulation, which is why we opened the text with the recent interest in critical studies of logistics.
From a certain point of view, there is little difference between airports, harbours and logistical corridors and internet infrastructure. Both infrastructures work towards a certain form of spatio-temporal integration of supply and demand of labour power. In the following investigation into the shadow economy of gold farming, we will stress further qualities which seem to be important for the concept of digital migration: This concerns amongst other things questions of the lived experience and subjectivity of digital migrants, closely related to racism and the racialization of labour, and questions of the socio-economic position in digital economies, especially in terms of legality.
World of Warcraft was — and still is — one of the most important of these games, with over seven million players at the time. This digital world, called Azeroth, is an impressive graphic medieval landscape of dark forests, vast plains, green hills, large mountains, wide seas, big cities and quiet villages inhabited by a multitude of human and magical creatures. For those who lacked patience or time to do so, IGE had an offer: They sold gold, the in-game currency, for real money.
- Power tools and their application. 1500 questions and answer.!
- The Dynastic State and the Army under Louis XIV: Royal Service and Private Interest 1661-1701.
- Chemical Process Computations;
- Sams teach yourself Microsoft Visual C# .NET 2003 in 24 hours.
On their site, they also offered virtual goods like weapons, clothing or even fully-developed characters so that players could begin in high levels. A player could even hand over his account for a few hours and get it back at any level they wished, in exchange for money. Unfortunately for the investors Bannon had gained, they soon run into trouble. Beyond that, Blizzard Entertainment, the publisher of the game, started harsh measures against the practice of real money trade, making it even harder for IGE to sustain its profits.
Bannon became its CEO, a post he held until , when he became chair of the infamous Breitbart News. Like IGE, the industry trading in virtual goods and currency, took a hit in these years.
However, the business is still alive in World of Warcraft and other games. After running into legal problems like IGE, most Western platforms moved their operations to places where their supply was already coming from: Asia, especially China. Bannon had joined a company that was almost completely based on Chinese labour. The origins of the practice of gold farming, i. There are reports of early individual farmers in the United States running up to 20 computers simultaneously in their homes.
However, by , major platforms got most of their supply from China. Here, the workshops range from informal groups of friends to professionalised digital factories, employing approximately A typical Chinese gaming workshop has computers and around workers who play in shifts, so that every computer runs 24 hours.
Related Racism and the Press (Critical studies in racism and migration)
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved