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Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Skilling Race: Affective Labour and ‘White’ Pedagogies in the Chilean Service Economy  

Speaker: Sofía Ugarte (University of Cambridge) 

This presentation examines the effects of racialisation practices in quotidian encounters between migrant Haitian women looking for work and Chilean recruiters and employers in job interviews and skills-training programmes in Santiago. Drawing on ethnographic research, I show how racialised differences are made material and emotional based on a particular history of white supremacy and mestizaje. I argue that to become appropriate and hirable workers in the service economy, Haitian women transform their appearance, movements, feelings, and attitudes according to white pedagogies of affective labour. I also show how the skilling of labour performed through these pedagogies is deeply affective, shaping Haitian women’s sense of worth and their self-constitution as migrants beyond labour encounters. The analysis of how everyday anti-black racism toward migrant women perpetuates local manifestations of white-mestizo privilege reveals how affective labour and racialisation practices articulate intimate experiences of transnational mobility with intersectional scripts of power.  

Seminar Programme

Autumn Term 2021
28 October 2021 (Inaugural session) 
11 November 2021  
25 November 2021  
9 December 2021

Winter Term 2022  
3 February 2022  
17 February 2022  
3 March 2022  
17 March 2022 

All are welcome to attend this free seminar, which starts at 17:00 GMT

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