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Positioning Migrant Physicians as Dr. Horror and Dr. Nice: A study of status and affect in online discussion forums

Author:

Camilla Haavisto

Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, FI
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Abstract

While ethnic hierarchies and labour market enclaves are commonly discussed at the macro level, this study focuses on a less explored area of research, namely, the study of ethnic and professional hierarchies on the level of mediated discourse. Taking various kinds of online discussion forums as the empirical entry point, this article sets out to answer if and how ethnicity, migrant background and/or language skills emerge as new hierarchical logics beside divisions, such as gender and education, when professional status is assigned online. Drawing on affect theory and the notion of status conflict, this article argues that in Finnish online discussion forums, the high-skilled migrant care worker is envisioned as a paradoxical figure who at the same time is seen as a saviour from abroad and an “affect alien” who causes confusion and discomfort. Both positions, the article argues, are the fruits of a narrow discursive construction of the commodified high-skilled migrant as “a servant” for our needs.
How to Cite: Haavisto, C., 2014. Positioning Migrant Physicians as Dr. Horror and Dr. Nice: A study of status and affect in online discussion forums. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 4(1), pp.21–29. DOI: http://doi.org/10.2478/njmr-2014-0001
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Published on 01 Mar 2014.
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