Thais have been migrating to Israel for the last three decades to work as agriculture farmworkers in Israeli villages. This state-led migration route institutionalized through variety of policies and practices after Israel opened its low-wage labor market to overseas non-Jewish migrants. At the core of the policies is the structure of ‘contract labor’, which bonds the migrants, Thais among them, to a specific work sector and placed them outside of the free labor market. Furthermore, these polices include heavy restrictions on the possibility to migrate with other family members, aiming to prevent migrants from settling down permanently in Israel. This render the Thais working in Israel vulnerable to exploitation and rights valuations and to physical and social isolation within the farms where they live, work, and spend most of their time while in Israel.
In this talk Shoham presents her ethnographic research with Thai return migrants in one sending migration village community near Udon Thani.
The village’s residents have been migrating in their hundreds to Israel and back for the past 30 years. Shoham asks how working and living in the margins of Israeli society and labor market effect the ways in which the former migrants construct, imagine and narrate their experiences in Israel in hindsight?
Bio: Shahar Shoham is a PhD candidate in Area and Global Studies at The Institute for Asian and African Studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany and a PhD scholarship holder of Hans Böckler Foundation in Germany. She is also a visiting research fellow in the ERC research project “TraffLab- Labor perspective to Human Trafficking” at The Law Faculty of Tel Aviv University in Israel.
Moderator: Reena Tadee
October 30, 2019 Time: 13:30-14:30 hrs. Room Rajawadee (326)