Migration and female labour : Samoan women in New Zealand (1989)
AuthorsLarner, Wendyshow all
Labour migration from underdeveloped countries of the 'Third World' to developed countries of the 'First World' was a marked phenomenon in the thirty years that followed the end of the Second World War. These labour migrations were initially produced by a demand for low skilled workers but have set in place a process which has resulted in the formation of large ethnically differentiated populations of migrants and their descendants in developed countries. This thesis focuses on one such labour migration and considers the position occupied in the New Zealand labour market by two groups of Samoan women; the Island born women who have migrated from Western Samoa, and the New Zealand born women who are part of the new ethnic minority developing in New Zealand as a result of labour migration. The discussion is based on an analysis of census data and the findings of a series of indepth semi-structured interviews with Samoan women living in Christchurch. It is shown that New Zealand born and Island born women have quite different experiences in the New Zealand labour market. The Marxian concept of a Reserve Army of Labour is employed in an attempt to analyse the labour force position of the two groups of women. The difficulties experienced in the application of this concept demonstrate the inadequacy of an analysis based purely on the working of capital. The experiences of Samoan women in the New Zealand labour force can only be understood with an analysis which takes into consideration the articulation of capitalism and patriarchy.