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What does hospitality look like when immigrants are ‘wanted’? The case of the immigration selection process in Quebec, Canada

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Recent scholarly work in the social sciences has engaged with the concept of hospitality in order to explore immigration dynamics, especially in relation to the situation of asylum-seekers. As an ambivalent concept, it captures the tension between, on the one hand, the act of hosting and welcoming foreigners and, on the other, controlling their entry. In this article, I reflect on the relevance of this concept for the study of the bureaucratic process of selecting qualified immigrants in Quebec, which aims to identify those future ‘skilled’ immigrants who would be most likely to integrate, both culturally and economically. These migrants, far from being unwanted, constitute the core of the federal and provincial immigration policies and the main mechanism through which a foreigner could obtain permanent residency in Canada. Through a fictional narrative based on my fieldwork with permanent residents living in Montreal, I show how the immigration selection system works in practice. Applied to the case of selected immigrants, the concept of hospitality forces us to distinguish practices from national discourses.
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Keywords: Canada; Quebec; bureaucracy; economic immigration; fictional narrative; hospitality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000122923357Université de Montréal

Publication date: September 1, 2020

This article was made available online on July 15, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "What does hospitality look like when immigrants are ‘wanted’? The case of the immigration selection process in Quebec, Canada".

More about this publication?
  • Hospitality & Society is an international multidisciplinary social sciences journal focusing upon hospitality and exploring its connections with wider social and cultural processes and structures. The journal welcomes submissions from various disciplines and aims to be an interactive forum expanding frontiers of knowledge and contributing to the literature on hospitality social science. Articles that stimulate debate, discussion and exchange across disciplines are welcomed, as well as review essays or short topical pieces that are provocative and problematic in nature.

    Hospitality & Society is the official journal of the Council for Hospitality Management Education
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