Sarah Kunz
Search for other papers by Sarah Kunz in
Current site
Google Scholar
Studying expatriates
Academic divisions of (skilled) labour
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

Chapter 7 discusses recent debates in international human resource management (IHRM) literature on alternatives to the ‘traditional expatriate’, particularly ‘self-initiated expatriates’, ‘inpatriates’ and ‘migrants’. The chapter interrogates these new categories of IHRM literature and notes a ‘selective flexibility’ that stretches the category expatriate in ways that reproduce the inequalities that already underwrote the ‘traditional expatriate’. Still, power and inequality are frequently evaded in seemingly technical debates about the proper boundaries of analytical categories. The chapter then traces how migration studies turned to study expatriates as high-powered corporate migrants within a framework of (highly) skilled migration. This expatriate, the chapter argues, stands in marked contrast to the usual migrant in migration studies. The chapter finds that much research on migration collectively, if inadvertently, helps to reproduce popular imaginations of migrants as the global racialised poor, and thus actively participates in postcolonial governance through migration. From this vantage point, methodological nationalism can be understood as a racialised technology of governance with an imperial genealogy. Finally, the chapter examines the relationship of IHRM and migration studies, their mutual disregard and shared silences. The chapter argues that colonial aphasia not only shapes their quite closely aligned ‘typical’ expatriates and migrants, but underwrites their very academic disconnection and division of labour – i.e. colonial aphasia is at work in the very constitution of the two fields as separate fields.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

All of MUP's digital content including Open Access books and journals is now available on manchesterhive.



Following a migration category


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 179 179 5
Full Text Views 6 6 0
PDF Downloads 12 12 0