Drawing on insights from scholarship on contentious action frames, this article examines the framing of demands for social justice for migrant farmworkers in Spain, Italy and Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. We focus particularly on how activists in each country aligned their action frames with prevalent public discourses on the essential contribution migrants make to agricultural production, the need to guarantee “health for all,” and “increased vulnerability” of migrants’ lives during the global health crisis. Using these diagnostic frames, activists in the three countries called for secure legal status for all migrants. Drawing on the literature on contentious action frames, we then analyze if action frames advanced by activists during the COVID-19 pandemic “resonated” with the understanding of these issues by policymakers. We challenge an approach to understanding resonance in binary terms as either present or absent. Instead, we introduce the notion of “ambivalent resonance” to draw attention to the fact that some frames are accepted only partially or only by some policymakers but not the others, as was the case in the three countries under study. We then situate this ambivalent resonance in the context of immigration priorities and recent trends in immigration policy development in these three countries and suggest that activists can build on ambivalences to advance migrant rights to status.

Ambivalent Resonance: Advocacy for Secure Status for Migrant Farm Workers in Spain, Italy and Canada during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Gennaro Avallone
2023-01-01

Abstract

Drawing on insights from scholarship on contentious action frames, this article examines the framing of demands for social justice for migrant farmworkers in Spain, Italy and Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. We focus particularly on how activists in each country aligned their action frames with prevalent public discourses on the essential contribution migrants make to agricultural production, the need to guarantee “health for all,” and “increased vulnerability” of migrants’ lives during the global health crisis. Using these diagnostic frames, activists in the three countries called for secure legal status for all migrants. Drawing on the literature on contentious action frames, we then analyze if action frames advanced by activists during the COVID-19 pandemic “resonated” with the understanding of these issues by policymakers. We challenge an approach to understanding resonance in binary terms as either present or absent. Instead, we introduce the notion of “ambivalent resonance” to draw attention to the fact that some frames are accepted only partially or only by some policymakers but not the others, as was the case in the three countries under study. We then situate this ambivalent resonance in the context of immigration priorities and recent trends in immigration policy development in these three countries and suggest that activists can build on ambivalences to advance migrant rights to status.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4821751
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