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The use of ethnicity in recruiting domestic labour : a case study on French placement agencies in the care sector

Lendaro, Annalisa and Imdorf, Christian. (2012) The use of ethnicity in recruiting domestic labour : a case study on French placement agencies in the care sector. Employee relations, Vol. 34, H. 6. pp. 613-627.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6008483

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Abstract

Purpose: Referring to the sociology of conventions, we examine how various conventions of work coordination and employee relations affect how recruiters in the domestic labour industry use ethnic categories to match jobs to applicants in the domestic services sector and how institutional gatekeepers relegate immigrant women to jobs with poor career opportunities. Design/methodology/approach: Case studies of a public job centre, a domestic service provider and an occupational integration service show the core conventions structuring job placement in Marseille's domestic service industry. Based on nine semi-structured interviews with representatives of the three respective intermediaries, we reconstructed conventions and compromises between them related to the use of ethnic categories as significant criteria in recruitment. Findings: Characteristic compromises of work conventions frame the organisational use of ethnic categories in the job placement process. Market and domestic conventions are particularly crucial for ethnic criteria to become meaningful in the recruitment process as indicators of cheap and readily available labour. Intersecting with gender, they signal competence in the 'domestic world' of beneficiaries' private homes. Ethnic categories are less meaningful, however, when coordination between intermediary, clients and workers is based on the civic and industrial work conventions. Originality/value: The paper contributes to better understanding ethnic labelling processes in the placement of immigrant job seekers in the domestic service industry. It points to the problematic fact that denying the recognition of foreign certificates in the industry works to the economic benefit of domestic service providers while it impedes the careers of female immigrant workers.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Soziologie > Sozialforschung und Methodologie (Bergman)
04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Bildungssoziologie (Imdorf)
UniBasel Contributors:Imdorf, Christian
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:MCB University Press
ISSN:0142-5455
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:31 Dec 2015 10:50
Deposited On:08 Nov 2012 16:16

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