Tichana Adam

Tichana Adam (she/her)

Masters Student
Department of Sociology
University of Windsor

Current Research Project:  The Case of Structural Violence in Migrant Female Work

My research project involves theoretical work on the conditions of migrant workers in Canada. I discuss how the effects of neoliberal globalization have contributed to migrant worker’s precarious work conditions, as well as a rise in levels of poverty and racial/gender disparities. The rise of neoliberal globalization in the past few decades has contributed to the presence of structural violence in the Live-in Caregiver Program in Canada and other programs across the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP), as well as the feminization of migrant labour in general, and care work in particular. This has left migrant female workers – mainly from the Philippines and India – in troubling precarious work conditions, which in turn devalues them and turns them into objects to advance a neoliberal capitalist system. I am interested in applying theory to build on existing research in this area, helping to seek out promising solutions that Canadian policymakers can adopt to better the work conditions of migrant workers nationally.

What motivated you to pursue this project? 

I am personally connected to this research because I myself have been a refugee and a migrant worker at one point of my life. After fleeing Iraq in 2008, I worked as a migrant/refugee worker in Syria where precarious conditions were non-negotiable in order to survive. Therefore, I am extremely passionate to end such precarious conditions and to offer solutions that would better our world. This was my main motivation for undertaking the research project, and while the research has taken an emotional toll on me, I continue to apply this approach every single day.

I have also been an active writer on Her Campus Media advocating for gender and racial equality and environmental activism. As a visible minority, I constantly deal with racial and gender inequality on a daily basis and therefore it is essential that I continue to fight for others and use my education and scholarly knowledge to advocate for social justice. Sociological questions that are of particular interest to me include the structural violence present in migrant female work,  the idea of nation states and the sociology of the state from a Durkheimian point of view, and the politics of exclusion within nation states in regard to refugees. I will continue my studies shortly through my enrollment in a PhD Sociology/Social Justice program at the University of Windsor, where I plan to focus on Hegel and ideas of the rational state.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your work, and what strategies have you used to overcome challenges and reach your goals?

I like to look at the positive side, and thus, I believe COVID-19 has allowed me to reflect and think of innovative ways to research and advocate for others. The ones that were the most affected by this pandemic were migrant workers and therefore I wanted to advocate for them. The challenging part of my research has been finding ways to keep safe without having to be exposed to the risk of COVID-19. Therefore, I have turned to theory first to combat that.

Tichan’s advice to other graduate students: 

My advice is that it is okay to feel lost in research and not have a single area of focus. Often times, we are pressured as students in academia to narrow down our research interests and to focus on one line of methods. However, I want to challenge that and show my fellow students that it does not always have to be the case. Advocate for many causes. It does not have to be one only.

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