Date of Graduation

Fall 12-15-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Lindsay Gifford


Migrants have long turned to self-employment in host country labor markets due to not only racial and ethnic prejudices, but also issues of local language proficiency and lack of recognition of the academic degree from the sending country. The taxi industry, one particular occupational niche dominated by migrants, has long been studied by scholars. However, the industry has evolved into a newer and understudied form of transportation: ridesharing. This study argues that in the case of the ridesharing industry, drivers did indeed turn to the occupation because of factors such as insufficient English language level and foreign academic degrees, but also age and personal family matters. Participants were attracted to the ridesharing industry in large part because of the flexibility and level of compensation provided. As a whole, participants saw ridesharing as the best option available to them in an otherwise unsuitable labor market.