شبکه های مهاجر، زبان آموزی و استخدام گردشگری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|3822||2012||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9231 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Tourism Management, Volume 33, Issue 2, April 2012, Pages 431–439
This paper examines the relationship between migrants’ social networks, the processes of language acquisition and tourism employment. Data collected using netnography and interviews are used to identify the strategies that Polish workers in the UK use to develop their language skills. The paper highlights the roles played by co-workers, co-nationals and customers in migrants’ language learning, both in the physical spaces of work and the virtual spaces of internet forums. It also shows how migrant workers exchange knowledge about the use of English during different stages of their migration careers: prior to leaving their country of origin and getting a job, during their employment and after leaving their job. Implications for academic inquiry and human resource management practice are outlined.
Existing work has highlighted that tourism employment provides opportunities for migrants to develop their language skills (Anderson et al., 2007, Eade et al., 2006, Janta and Ladkin, 2009 and Janta et al., 2011). Previous research has also highlighted the importance of language in the migrant experience and in the management of a diverse workforce. Linguistic competence helps migrants to adjust better to life in receiving destinations (Brown, 2008), while its absence can limit access to information or support, leading to social exclusion (Spencer, Ruhs, Anderson, & Rogaly, 2007). Moreover, language skills can be utilised further by mobile individuals when returning to their country of origin or when moving to new areas (Williams & Baláž, 2008). There is also a relationship between host linguistic competence and migrant employment experiences (Dustmann & Fabbri, 2003). Many migrants are able to enter jobs within the tourism and hospitality sector, mainly in back-of-house positions, with hardly any knowledge of the local language. However, poor linguistic skills often force migrant workers to occupy the lowest grade jobs, endure poor working conditions and limit promotional opportunities (Wright & Pollert, 2006). The problem is exacerbated as migrants working in enclaves speak their own language, which reinforces ghettoisation (Adler & Adler, 1999). Finally, from a management perspective, previous research has suggested that deficiencies in language capabilities can lead to tensions in the workplace and a decrease in service quality (Devine et al., 2007a, Devine et al., 2007b, Lucas and Mansfield, 2008 and Lyon and Sulcova, 2009). This body of work stresses the importance of linguistic competence for numerous stakeholders, but previous research has not examined in any detail the processes and agencies involved in language development among migrant workers in tourism; nor has it considered the relationship between the processes of migrants’ language learning and tourism employment. In response to this gap in knowledge, this paper examines how networks of people interact, both in physical and virtual environments; and, how flows of information, often between loosely connected individuals (Granovetter, 1983), at various stages in travel and movement, are involved in the process of language development. Moreover, we argue that tourism employment is at the core of these networks and flows of information in several ways. Firstly, tourism employment creates contexts for learning and facilitates the development of interactions and relationships that lead to specific learning repertoires. Secondly, among migrants interacting in virtual environments (i.e. internet chat rooms and social networking sites), tourism employment often stimulates debates between users. For example, tourism employment emerges frequently in discussions about developing language skills. Within these virtual environments, migrants also reflect upon their learning and their experiences of tourism employment. Furthermore, they assist other migrants in developing their language skills to help them gain employment in tourism and related sectors. In this paper, data are used to demonstrate how migrant workers exchange knowledge about the use of English during different stages of their migration career: prior to leaving their country of origin and getting a job, during their employment and after leaving their job. The emerging themes from this study thus inform contemporary research on migration and tourism (e.g. Janta et al., in press and Janta et al., 2011) by helping to understand the complex relationships that migrants are engaged in as they develop their language skills. Moreover, the data help us to appreciate how migrants’ experiences of learning are mediated and influenced by tourism employment. Examining migrants’ language development is also important for tourism and hospitality practitioners for two reasons: firstly, understanding the modus operandi of international employees can help in the recruitment process to identify expectations from engaging in tourism employment. Secondly, understanding why migrants work and the processes of language learning can inform both staff development investment and the management of a diverse workforce. This paper’s findings are drawn from a wider study on the experiences of Polish migrant workers employed in the UK tourism sector; however, the emerging themes of the study, particularly around the forms and processes of interaction, and the central role of tourism employment, can be used in the analysis of other migrant groups and international contexts.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has explored the complex interactions between migrant networks, language learning and tourism employment. Migrants’ learning emerged through a series of spatial processes, which help to collapse the distinctions between the material and the virtual. Online forums were transformed into virtual spaces of learning, where new and experienced migrants could exchange practical advice and share their migration narratives alongside offering peer support. These spaces were separated from the physical work spaces, but they were also entangled with them as workers applied and experimented with the advice gained from virtual spaces in their tourism employment. Tourism work also forced interaction between migrants and English speakers; their learning was thus mediated through their work. The concrete experience gained within these physical learning spaces was then reflected upon in the virtual spaces of online forums to add to the co-created learning space. These spatial processes highlight the fact that migration careers of tourism workers were not solitary processes involving individual trials, adventures or learning experiences; rather they can be read as complex constructions that emerge through and are mediated by tourism employment. Jobseekers and novices look to experienced workers, both prior to the migration experience and while they are involved themselves. Individual knowledge and competence gained through employment is made public and becomes the shared intellectual property of those engaged in the network. The experiences of participants in this study point to the way numerous agencies, including fellow migrants, work colleagues and customers are involved in shaping the learning and socialisation of migrant workers. These examples point to positive experiences of learning, where customers and co-workers are willing to support foreign-born employees, although it is important to recognise that criticisms by customers caused by communicational failures have been reported as well (cf. Devine et al., 2007a and Lyon and Sulcova, 2009). The emerging themes of this study have a number of implications for researchers concerned with tourism and hospitality organisations and human resource practices. Academics working in the broader areas of organisation studies and management have explored the notion of the networked organisation, which can be understood as operating through complex interactions and relationships within and across institutions (see e.g. Gössling, Oerlemans, & Jansen, 2007). Although tourism and hospitality academics recognise that service operations function through the interaction of multiple stakeholders (cf. Davis et al., 2008 and Ninemeier and Hayes, 2006), these migrant workers’ experiences stress the need to avoid viewing specific organisational units as discrete entities, and oversimplifying the inputs, processes and outputs involved in their existence. The data in this paper require academics working in these applied fields to reconceptualise tourism and hospitality organisations as fundamentally mobile, and effectively imagined, entities – operating through complex networks, multiple interactions, and involving flows of information and human capital (see Leander, Philips, & Taylor, 2010 for an analogous approach to learning spaces conceptualised within the mobilities paradigm). Employment experiences and the socialisation of migrant workers begin outside the physical boundaries of the workplace, and continue to extend outwards beyond it. This understanding necessitates a more nuanced conceptualisation of human resource practice in tourism and hospitality management research, which appreciates how such networks and flows influence the development of behavioural patterns and even service (sub)cultures, as migrant workers use social media to shape work practices and obtain positions in specific organisations. Future research on the complexities of tourism and hospitality workplaces will require fieldworkers not only to broaden the scope of their studies, in terms of defining the “field site”, but also the methods they employ. In this study, migrant workers’ connections and the learning related to tourism employment traversed geographical boundaries. Therefore, the extent of their networks redefined the boundaries of their organisational experiences and researchers were thus required to trace these relationships to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences of tourism employment. This sensitivity towards the mobile nature of knowledge generation and the complex networks/networking involved should inform future studies of migrants engaged in tourism work. Finally, the themes emerging from this research raise several issues concerning mobile methodologies. This study has demonstrated the applicability of netnography and other, dynamic forms of investigative internet-based research (Lugosi et al., in press), alongside established methods of interviewing, to understanding the relationships between migrant experiences and tourism employment. Virtual environments provide valuable insights into migrant networks and the different forms of personal and instrumental support they provide. Tracing streams of interaction not only provides information about individual experiences, but also sheds light on how broader networks or communities operate. Internet-based studies provide access to geographically dispersed individuals who may otherwise remain inaccessible. However, it is important for any future research to recognise that these methods can limit interactions between fieldworkers and a research population, thus providing rich but fragmented data sets. Consequently, as this study demonstrates, it is useful, to complement these with more traditional qualitative methods that provide further insights into migrants and how their learning experiences are entangled with tourism employment.