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Mob03a


Highly skilled migrants: challenging ‘integration’ categories 
Convenors:
Tytti Steel (University of Helsinki)
Maja Povrzanovic Frykman (Malmö University)
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Stream:
Mobilities
Format:
Panel
Sessions:
Thursday 24 June, 10:00-11:45 (UTC+3)

Short Abstract:

While focusing on highly skilled migrants, this panel promotes and exemplifies the ways in which ethnographic research can challenge the conventional ‘integration’ categories and help advance the theoretical frameworks pertaining to manifold aspects of migrant settlement, inclusion and well-being.

Long Abstract

Highly skilled migrants may be relatively privileged in terms of education and employment, but they still encounter specific emotional, social, and career challenges (Povrzanović Frykman/Öhlander 2018). Research on these migrants can expose faultliness of the conventional ideas about the nature of ‘problems with integration’, that focus on employment and relate to origin and (ethnic) culture rather than to class and race (Schinkel 2018). The panel sets to promote and exemplify the ways in which ethnographic research can challenge the conventional ‘integration’ categories and help advance the theoretical frameworks pertaining to manifold aspects of migrant settlement, inclusion and well-being.

The panel invites both theoretical and empirical contributions set to provide nuanced understandings of how education and professional experience are intersected with reasons for migration, gender, age, family circumstances, time and timing of migrancy, citizenship, employment venue, professional sector and type of contract, and how these intersections may affect the migrants’ own perceptions of ‘integration’ against the background of the given socioeconomic, legal and policy context.

As the questions of exclusion and racialisation – typically raised for unskilled migrants – are relevant also to the high-skilled, we particularly welcome papers that trace the sense of exclusion and explore the tension between privilege and discrimination. They may be based on (but are not limited to) single cases or on comparisons across national origins and professions, across skills (high- and low-skilled migrants from the same country of origin), between highly skilled migrants and non-migrant professionals, or between highly skilled labour migrants and refugees.

Accepted papers: