Peripheral Encounters? Migration, workplace diversity and the negotiation of difference in the outskirts of Seoul (16678)
This paper focuses on the uneven spatialities of encounters across difference through an exploration of migration and workplace diversity in the outskirts of the Seoul Metropolitan Region. The paper starts from the premise that the peripheral spaces within which many migrant labourers find themselves living and working have a substantial influence of the kinds of encounters across difference that are possible in their everyday lives. Drawing on interviews with migrants from South East Asia, the paper explores the complex hierarchies that these mobile subjects encounter as well as their own strategies for getting by and sometimes challenging prejudice in the workplace. Particular attention is paid to the negotiation of difference within the constraints of socio-legal position, the seeming immutability of cultural difference and yet also the claims of some migrants to be subjects to whom rights and respect are due. Through this focus the paper extends accounts of encounter by exploring geographical contexts beyond the familiar territory of American, Australasian and European cities and beyond the urban core to explore the significance of peripherality in the experience of diversity and the negotiation of difference in mobile lives.