My Research


What kinds of learning do international migration and other forms of mobility provoke, and how does this learning influence the life aspirations and life course trajectories of people on the move?

Much of the research in the area of international migration and employment in the field of adult education has focused on training and skill acquisition, with a small portion of research focused on informal learning as it takes place in the context of social movements, such as labour and migrant organizing. In contrast to both of these, my research emphasizes an emergent analysis of what I am beginning to think of as the everyday pedagogies of mobility. Up until now I have engaged with a population that has limited access to formal or non-formal adult education opportunities or informal social movement organizing, namely low-wage migrant workers to Canada.

In engaging with this population, I have been able to tease out some of the nuances of how individuals and small groups learn to navigate complex systems of power and policy structures in search of a better and more stable life for themselves and their families. In recognition of an increasingly complex transnational and intra-national mobility context, my current research is beginning to engage with a broader spectrum of populations, including youth (both migrant and non-migrant) and refugees.

How can artistic approaches to research and community development interrupt societal norms that exclude and delegitimize the voices of individuals from historically marginalized communities?

A secondary focus of my research explores the utility and aesthetics surrounding the use of collective artistic creation in both community development work and qualitative approaches to social science research. This interest is grounded in my 10 years of experience as co-artistic director of In Forma Theatre, a small community-based theatre organization in Toronto.

St. Francis Xavier University

J. Adam Perry, PhD

Assistant Professor of Adult Education

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