What did you do last Summer, Symon James-Wilson?

With eight major projects across four continents, the CGSP initiative supports innovative multi-disciplinary/multi-sited collaboration that is truly unlike many other projects of its caliber and size. As a junior project assistant researching the implications of education systems and recruitment practices for Filipina and Indonesian domestic workers’ migration trajectories, the opportunity to meet with scholars at the forefront of reframing and reconstructing traditional political, social, and economic notions of care in the Asia-Pacific region was an exciting part of my field work this summer. Building on the idea that complexities of care work can only be understood through a variety of conceptual frameworks, geographies, scales of analysis, and stakeholders, learning more about the “Demography and Policy in Oceania” (Dr. Deborah Brennan and Dr. Elizabeth Hill) and the “International Governance” (Dr. Nicola Piper) projects fostered creative considerations surrounding sending/receiving country dynamics critical connectivity (rather than historically understood exclusivity).

Having witnessed Australia’s particular push to align itself with the dynamic economic growth and development in the Asia-Pacific region while on a U of T sponsored exchange at the University of Melbourne, coming together to discuss and critique the so-called “need” or “demand” for female migrant workers (particularly in the elder and child care sectors) charted interesting new questions within my specific project and more broadly. In fact, these ideas converged once again at a three-day global conference on labour migration hosted by the AFL-CIO Solidarity Centre in Bogor, Indonesia where Dr. Piper and I were among more than 200 participants from 45 countries in NGO, academic, funding agencies and governmental sectors imagining more equitable labour migration systems capable of fostering shared prosperity.

Now returned to Canada, I look forward to continuing the conversation with such a rich team of scholars, researchers, social/political advocates, and employed care workers themselves as an assistant contribution to the CGSP project. Bridging spatial and disciplinary divides through global conferences, in-house writing-workshops, and visits to each other’s home institutions, I am excited to see what deeper inquires, communications, and collaborations across the various levels of partnerships develop next!

Symon James-Wilson


Gender, Migration and the Work of Care Interns

Marco Agostini and Shanika Johnson are Masters students at the School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto. They joined us over the summer for a 10-week internship. The first interns on the GMC project. They worked tirelessly each day conducting literature reviews, qualitative data analysis, report writing, and helping out with our summer workshops. It was a great success! Keep an eye out for their reports and briefs as we will be posting them online.

IMG_0567  Marco and Shankia

IMG_0563  Shanika and Marco

Fellowship Recipient – Naomi Lightman

BIG CONGRATULATIONS to NAOMI LIGHTMAN, PhD, recipient of the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2015.

Under the direction of Monica Boyd, Co-Principal Investigator of the Gender, Migration, and the Work of Care (GMC) Project, Naomi will be analyzing data from the Luxembourg Income Study, focusing on care workers in Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Her research plans include both country-specific and comparative analyses of the social exclusion of migrant care workers. Her overall goal is to merge country-specific findings into a general theory on the social exclusion of care workers coming from poor to wealthier nations, focusing on specific aspects of the relationship between commodified care migration and global inequalities.

Naomi successfully defended her doctoral thesis at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto in June 2015. In addition to the fellowship, Naomi has received two Ontario Graduate Scholarships, and a chapter from her dissertation won the 2014 Citizenship Education Research Network Graduate Student Outstanding Paper Award. Naomi’s research will provide an important contribution to the work being conducted under the GMC project.


BIG THANKS to SUE YEANDLE, Professor of Sociology and Director of CIRCLE, University of Leeds, UK.

During her brief visit here at the University of Toronto, we were fortunate enough to have Sue spend some time with us in the CGSP. Sue gave an info-packed talk on her current research in the area of family, work and family carers. We also heard about the work undertaken at CIRCLE on carer, caring and employment, and the cost of caring. Following, we had a good number of questions from students and faculty.

Sue also has a recent book she co-edited, Combining Paid Work and Family Care: Policies and Experiences in International Perspective. You can check it out on Amazon.com!

Scholarship Recipient – Jeremy Davison

BIG CONGRATULATIONS to JEREMY DAVISON – recipient of the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship-Master’s Program, 2015.

We are pleased to announce that Jeremy will be working under the direction of Ito Peng, the Principal Investigator of the Gender, Migration, and the Work of Care (GMC) project.

Jeremy will look at whether, and how, local Japanese governments attempt to influence national-level decision makers on immigration policy. ‘His research will take him to rural Japan in the summer, where he will interview government officials, policymakers, and academics.

This is a topic Jeremy is well-familiarized with. From 2012-2014, Jeremy worked for the Yamanashi Prefectural Government in Kofu, Japan. In 2014, Jeremy also received an entrance scholarship to the School of Public Policy and Governance based on his excellent scholarship and work experience.

Fellowship Recipient – Elizabeth Adamson

BIG CONGRATULATIONS to LIZ ADAMSON, PhD – recipient of the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2016.

Liz’s PhD was supervised by Deb Brennan, Co-PI of the Gender, Migration, and the Work of Care (GMC) project, and co-supervised by Fiona Williams, an advisor to the project.

Under the direction of Ito Peng, the Principal Investigator of the GMC project, Liz will focus on the intersection of care, migration and employment policy for in-home child care. In particular, the research willexplore the intersection of policies and how they shape the relationships between care users (families) and care providers (nannies) in two English-speaking countries – Canada and Australia.

In addition to the fellowship, Liz was awarded a 2014 Dean’s Student Leadership Award, University of South Wales, Australia. Liz’s work has and continues to be an integral part of the empirical understanding of gender, migration and child care work.

CGSP Researchers and Partners at Metropolis International

Thank you to our partners and collaborators for sharing their presentations! You can find links to their slides from the 2014 Metropolis International conference on our Research Page.

Partners & Collaborators:
Katja Hujo, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development
David Manicom, Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Parvati Raghuram, The Open University
Victoria Rietig, Migration Policy Institute
Brenda Yeoh, National University of Singapore

Centre for Global Social Policy

A panel of CGSP researchers and partners presented at this year’s Metropolis International conference, Milan, Italy. The panel was a 2-part workshop discussing challenges and opportunities of transnational migration of care workers. More news to come on the speakers and their presentations.

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