Course title: Perspectives on Refugee Labor in Migration Studies

By: Dr. Maissam Nimer

November 2021 / GAR Akademi 


Summary: This mini-course, consisting of 3 sessions, explores the conceptual frames on refugee labor within scholarly debates in forced migration research. It offers a space for discussing the emergent themes in existing debates in broader refugee studies to offer a critical perspective on the formulation of refugee labor as a subject of study. Research on this subject progressively moves among strands of theorizing refugee labor, from a utilitarian to a critical framework. The course is designed as a reading and discussion course in the form of interactive sessions. We will discuss questions such as “What is understood by refugee labor?” “What are the major debates in the literature of forced migration with regards to labor?” “What is the effect of distinguishing refugees and migrants?” “How can academic framework impact on empirical studies’ design and findings?” “What are the directions for future research in refugee labor?”

Language of the course: English (discussion in Turkish)


  • November 10, 2021 | 18:00-20:00 – Studying Refugee Labor in terms of Impact on the Labor Market or as Means of Livelihood


  • November 17, 2021 | 18:00-20:00- Utilitarian Approach: Labor Market Integration of Refugees as a Pathway for Development


  • November 24, 2021 | 18:00-20:00- Critical Framework of Refugee as Labor


Short Bio: Dr. Maissam Nimer is a sociologist currently working on a project called Memovives, which seeks to examine the way in which intellectual production is transformed by exile. This project is carried out as part of the Labex les passés dans le présent, at Paris Nanterre University. She has carried out work at Koç University, as a Mercator IPC fellow at Sabanci University and recipient of a one-year Koç University Seed Grant, to explore the experiences of Syrian refugee youth in Turkey. Her research interests revolve around social and gender inequalities, marginalities and government of asylum-seekers. Her work has been published in international and regional academic journals including Gender and Education, Critical Sociology, Migration Studies, Third World Quarterly, Sociological Research Online, International Studies in Sociology of Education, Multilingua. Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication as well as New Perspectives on Turkey, Idafat, Civil Society Review and New Middle East Studies Journal. She obtained her PhD from Paris Saclay University, MSc from the London School of Economics and BS from the American University of Beirut.