Understanding access to the labour market through migration channels

Sandoz, Laure. (2018) Understanding access to the labour market through migration channels. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. pp. 1-20.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/65270/

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The mobility of the ‘highly skilled’ has become widely researched but only a few researchers have approached this category of migrants from a critical perspective. This article argues that understanding how ‘highly skilled migrants’ are constructed necessitates considering the conditions in which migration takes place as well as the perceptions and practices associated with these conditions. It uses the concept of ‘migration channels’ to investigate the enabling and disabling factors associated with different migration situations. The analysis draws on biographic interviews with highly educated migrants in Switzerland, and supplements these with expert interviews and ethnographic observations of people working in institutions that support, guide, or control migrants’ access to the labour market. The article shows that categories of migrants are artificial and often do not coincide with lived realities. Migrants actively develop strategies to achieve their personal aspirations, but they also depend on the opportunities available in their environment. The concept of ‘migration channels’ enables us to capture this interplay between structures and agency by showing how different actors shape the opportunities and constraints faced by different groups of migrants, and how migrants actively deal with them. This concept thus fosters a critical yet empathic understanding of migration experiences.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Kulturanthropologie > Kulturanthropologie (Leimgruber)
UniBasel Contributors:Sandoz, Laure
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:11 Feb 2020 09:54
Deposited On:19 Nov 2018 16:53

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