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Education as Early Stage Brokerage: Cooling Out Aspiring Migrants for the Global Hotel Industry

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Through an analysis of the field of hotel and restaurant management, a program popular among Filipino youth hoping to find work overseas, this paper argues that an integral, yet invisible, aspect of educating future migrant workers is "cooling out" working-class students for a hospitality industry that runs on low-wage, contractual labour. This practice of cooling out involves reorienting students' ambitions towards blue-collar jobs that do not require college degrees, encouraging them to start from the bottom in pursuing their migration dreams. Based on qualitative interviews with 36 college educators and 25 students, this paper discusses how the cooling-out function serves as a form of migration brokerage, funnelling aspiring migrants into lower segments of the global labour market even before they leave their countries of origin. Yet, students do not question such practices, constructing a notion of working-class values that allows them to take pride in performing work that others might consider undesirable. This paper emphasizes the need for migration scholars to look beyond schooling as a stepping stone towards social mobility and unpack the role of higher education as part of a migration infrastructure that conditions aspiring migrants' mobility.
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Keywords: BROKERS; HIGHER EDUCATION; LABOUR MIGRATION; MIGRATION INFRASTRUCTURE; PHILIPPINES; SERVICE WORK

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2018

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UA-1313315-28
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