Fumilayo Showers

Assistant Professor

PhD, Masters


Research Interests

My research interests lie at the intersection of immigration, labor, and health care work and health care inequalities.

My current research investigates the creation of a labor market niche (i.e the over-representation of members of a particular ethnic group in a given occupation) among West African immigrants along the continuum of occupations in the health care industry.

My book manuscript in progress shows how English-speaking, West African immigrant women and men with high human capital and middle-class pre-migration backgrounds, have become concentrated in both skilled and lesser skilled sectors of the US health care industry. It uncovers the processes through which they have served as formal and informal labor brokers channeling others from their national and regional groups into this much-needed labor force. It also attends to their subjective understandings of their work and their experiences at the intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, class, and citizenship.

My past research has focused on the work lives of West African immigrant women nurses in the United States. This line of research contributed to a body of work that has ascertained the structural need for paid caregivers in American society, the historical devaluation of the labor, the ideologies that create the demand for women as caregivers, and the gendered racialization that makes women of color ideal as providers of caring labor.

While affiliated with InCHIP, I aim to develop two new lines of research. My primary project will examine the health outcomes of direct care workers (e.g. home health aides, certified nursing assistants and disability support professionals) as they age. A secondary line of research will examine at the macro level, how migrant care workers mobilize and contribute their health expertise to their communities in their countries of origin, and at the micro level, how they organize care for their own aging relatives back home.


PhD, Syracuse University, 2013
Masters, Syracuse University, 2009

Recent Publications

Showers, Fumilayo. “‘Nursing was the talk around town’: West African Immigrant Communities, Labor Recruitment and the “Crisis of Care” in Advanced Economies” in Within the Knot: Liberal Arts Perspectives on Globalism and Transnationalism. Van de Logt, Martinus and Hyun Wu Lee (eds). New Castle Upon Tyne: (Cambridge Scholars Publishing) Forthcoming

Showers, Fumilayo. “African Migrants and Citizens in Contemporary United States” in General History of Africa Vol IX: Global Africa. Hilary M Beckles (editor) Commissioned by the United Nations Educational and Scientific Cultural Organization, UNESCO. – (Forthcoming)

Showers, Fumilayo. 2018. “Learning to Care: Work Experiences and Identity Formation among African Immigrant Care Workers:” International Journal of Care and Caring IJCC, 2:1 (7-25)

Showers, Fumilayo. 2015 “Being Black, Foreign and Woman: African Immigrant Identities in the United States” Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38:10 (1813-1828)

Showers, Fumilayo. 2015 “‘Professional Identities, Boundary Work and Meaning Making Among West African Nurses” in Caring on the Clock: The Complexities and Contradictions of Paid Care Work, Duffy Mignon, Amy Armenia and Clare Stacey eds. (Rutgers University Press)

Showers, Fumilayo. 2010 “African Women in the Nation’s Capital: Race, Gender and Nation in the Making of Immigrant Labor.” International Affairs Journal, 5:2 (20-27)

Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-3886
Mailing Address344 Mansfield Road, Unit 1068 Manchester Hall, RM 225 Storrs, Connecticut 06269 United States