This article offers an analysis of a business mentorship event in Fredericton, NB, which targeted immigrants sponsored through the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)—an economic revitalization program designed to attract foreign business people and skilled workers to settle in the province. Applying Derrida’s concept of hospitality as a technology of whiteness, we examine the stated and implicitly understood expectations for the NBPNP, including the mechanisms at play for regulating newcomer’s behavior and comportment. We locate our analysis in the context of a regionally expressed Canadian multiculturalism, extending the relevance of our findings beyond Fredericton to Atlantic Canada. We ask: how do associated discourses of whiteness, multiculturalism and hospitality come into play to shape dynamics of power existing between hosts (settlement workers, various shadow state actors and mentor volunteers) and racialized newcomer guests? As a racialized threshold event, the Sip, Greet and Meet facilitated an exchange of hospitality such that the New Brunswick native hosts marked newcomers as perpetual arrivants, while holding the immigrants responsible for the success of their settlement in the Fredericton region. We show how the discourses regarding newcomers’ duties cleared nativist inhabitants of any accountability for the success of immigrant settlement. We also show how the process of welcoming conveyed a message that the future success of the local community, the province and even Atlantic Canada depended on the business class immigrants’ ability to serve as dutiful and grateful guests.
Atlantic Canada, Derrida, hospitality, immigration, multiculturalism, New Brunswick, Participant observation, Provincial Nominee Program, whiteness
Allain, Kristi A.; Crath, Rory; and Çalışkan, Gül, "Speaking Welcome: A Discursive Analysis of an Immigrant Mentorship Event in Atlantic Canada" (2020). School for Social Work: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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