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About this lecture

The development of the capitalist world market has always been linked to differentiation of workers and the use of migration to create various forms of ‘unfree labour’: slavery, indentured workers, guestworkers, forced labourers, undocumented workers and so on. The differential denial of equal rights has been based on gender, race, ethnicity, legal status, national origins and on the ideology of human capital. This lecture will briefly address historical antecedents, and then focus on changing modes of differentiation, contrasting the labour recruitment systems of the 1945–1970s period with the epoch of globalization and the creation of a global labour market. Various forms of labour differentiation and denial of rights will be examined. The lecture will conclude with a discussion of the acceleration of trends to the feminization of labour and the growth of precarious temporary and casual employment arising through the global economic crisis.

About the speaker

Professor Stephen Castles is an Honorary Associate of the International Migration Institute and holds a Research Chair in Sociology at the University of Sydney. He is a sociologist and political economist, and currently works on international migration dynamics, global governance, migration and development, and regional migration in Africa, Asia and Europe. Stephen Castles is the author (with Mark Miller) of The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World (Palgrave Macmillan, 4th edition, 2009).