Rural employers can be significant actors in defining who is welcomed to the local community and under which conditions. Despite their importance, however, the role of rural employers in the belonging process of immigrant employees is not widely known. In this study, we focused on the discursive boundaries that rural employers (re)produce when speaking about immigrant employees. The empirical data of our study consists of 35 interviews in small and medium-sized enterprises. We identified three frames within which employers' carry out boundary work. These frames are dealing with work ethics, workplace rules and local community. We argue that belonging was constructed in these frames ambiguously, and highlight immigrants' hard-working attitude, cultural discretion and local stability. We also found that the idea of belonging was not built solely on immigrants' adaptation but that conventional boundaries were also flexible.
- 519 Yhteiskuntamaantiede, talousmaantiede