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Role of the workplace in Bangladesh-born migrants' participation in Australian society

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posted on 2022-03-29, 01:03 authored by Mostofa Mahmud Alam
This thesis aims to show how the kitchen workplace functions as a critical stepping stone or learning space that helps migrants (in this case Bangladesh‐born migrants) to participate in the socio‐cultural and economic milieu that distinguishes their new homeland of Australia. I have drawn upon Bangladeshi migrants’ narratives to detail the accounts of those who have experienced and are currently experiencing this often obstacle prone trajectory. The participants in this study entered Australia on student visas that allow them to stay in Australia temporarily during their period of study. Those holding student visas, unlike other visa holders, cannot access many of the social benefits and services the government extends to Australian citizens and permanent residents. Thus, in the process of maintaining their visa conditions, student visa holders are solely responsible for their tuition fees, living costs and other expenses during their period of study in Australia. The participants in this study, in their attempts to contend with what seems an endless number of obstacles that confront them upon arrival in their new homeland, endeavour to earn sufficient money to support their daily requirements and study expenses. Often by accessing friendship networks, some take part-time paid work in restaurant kitchens. For many, the camaraderie they share in the kitchen workplace plays a major role in their participation process. This thesis, as well as detailing the participants’ premigration expectations and aspirations, focuses on their settlement experiences. The participants’ narratives challenge some of the extant assumptions held and espoused by migration studies and popular opinion.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1. Growth of the Bangladesh‐born migrant community in Australia -- Student visas: a popular migration pathway for Bangladeshi migrants -- Reasons for migration -- Obstacles encountered upon arrival in Australia -- Chapter 2. Hierarchy and levels of steepness: The kitchen as a work space -- The kitchen as space: exploring its functionality from the inside -- Hierarchy and levels of steepness in the restaurant kitchen -- Role of the kitchen workplace in overcoming post- arrival obstacles -- The ways in which the kitchen workplace ease the migrants’ settlement process -- Chapter 3. Participation in Australian society -- Participation in Australian society -- Migrants’ stories -- Conclusion -- Bibliography.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 58-62

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Anthropology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Anthropology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Jaap Timmer


Copyright Mostofa Mahmud Alam 2018. Copyright disclaimer:






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