This YouTube video talk is from Denise de Pauw's PhD research “What's the experience of migrant job seekers, looking for work online? The glass collecting job, and other stories.” It may be of interest to adult education professionals who teach employability courses, digital literacies, or language, or all of these things.
In this talk I present my research into the experience of migrants looking for jobs online, something that all benefits claimants in the UK have been mandated to do since the 2012 Welfare Act. This act has thrust digital literacies into the life world of some of the least educated and most vulnerable newcomers to the UK, as well as other members of society, which is one of the reasons for my study. I am interested in the intersections between literacy practices and discourses in online job searches, to find out why looking for work online appears to be difficult for many, regardless of their education level. In my analysis, I have used Mediated Discourse Analysis (Scollon 2001; Norris 2013; Jones 2014) that is informed by Situated Literacies (e.g. Barton, Hamilton and Ivanic, 2000) and Activity Theory (e.g. Wertsch/Leont’ev 1981), to look at job applications in separate but interconnected layers of talk, actions, resources, texts, discourses and underlying motivating activity. Taking a job search or application as an instantiation of a literacy event, I have identified an interruption to the usual flow of interaction as a "site of engagement" (Scollon, 2001) for in-depth analysis. In my talk, I will present one of these and discuss emerging findings, which challenge popular discourses about online job applications with the reality of my participant's experiences.