Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Living at Work and Intra-worker Sociality Among Migrant Farm Workers in Canada

Document type Article
Author Perry, J. Adam
Journal Journal of International Migration and Integration
Volume 19
Date 2018 NOV
ISSN 1488-3473
Pages 1021-1036


This article examines how the dormitory labour system as it is employed in the agricultural streams of Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) affects workers' everyday sociality. In the article, I demonstrate how the physical compression of home and work into a singular geographic site shapes workers' identities and everyday relationships. Drawing on findings gathered from interviews with migrant farm workers from Mexico and Guatemala working in Southern Ontario, I explore how the requirement to warehouse temporary foreign workers directly on employer property collides with workers' ability to establish an autonomous and dignified life in Canada. In particular, I demonstrate how the TFWP agricultural dormitory system produces inter-generational dynamics that intensify worker self-discipline and generates gender dynamics that support the development of a hyper-productive transnational workforce.