In the Shadows: Exploring the Notion of ‘Community’ for Temporary Foreign Workers in a Boom Town

Foster, Jason and Taylor, Alison (2013) In the Shadows: Exploring the Notion of ‘Community’ for Temporary Foreign Workers in a Boom Town. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 38 (2). pp. 167-190. ISSN 0318-6431

[img] [English] PDF (The version available in this research repository is a postprint. It has the same peer-reviewed content as the published version, but lacks publisher layout and branding.) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (169kB)


The rapid expansion of the oil sands in northern Alberta during the mid-2000s led to the use of significant numbers of temporary foreign workers. These foreign workers became a part of the region’s ‘shadow population’. This paper examines how the presence of foreign workers affects conceptions of community and social cohesion by examining the experiences of foreign workers employed in oil sands construction. The study finds foreign workers are excluded from the life of the community due to their differential exclusion, vulnerable and precarious connection to the labour market, experiences of discrimination, and conflicted transnational community identities. The paper discusses the shortcomings of community and social cohesion approaches in addressing temporary foreign workers and considers the policy limitations of a widespread temporary foreign worker program.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 14059
Keywords: migrant workers; social cohesion; multiethnic community, social exclusion
Department(s): Divisions > On the Move Partnership
Date: 1 July 2013
Date Type: Publication
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics