File(s) under embargo

Reason: Publisher requirement

2

month(s)

16

day(s)

until file(s) become available

“One improves here every day”: the occupational and learning journeys of “lower-skilled” European migrants in the London region

journal contribution
posted on 13.11.2019, 13:34 by Laura Morosanu, Russell King, Aija Lulle, Manolis Pratsinakis
This paper examines narratives of learning and occupational advancement amongst migrants employed in ‘low-skilled’ jobs, based on in-depth interviews with secondary-educated East and South Europeans living in the London region. Our findings indicate that many achieved varying degrees of professional gratification, progress, and skills development within occupational sectors typically associated with unattractive conditions, limited benefits or opportunities to get ahead. Participants’ narratives of achievement expand the relatively limited literature that challenges common perceptions of occupational mobility and professional development as the terrain of the ‘highly skilled’. Furthermore, we examine how migrants made sense of their career opportunities and success. We discuss two discourses, centred on ‘hard work’ and ‘creativity’ respectively, through which participants challenged and reconfigured traditional ‘high’-‘low-skilled’ divides. Our findings contribute to critiques of traditional understandings of migrant human capital and simplistic ‘high’-‘low-skilled’ distinctions in two ways: by documenting the less visible experiences of learning and career progress amongst secondary-educated European youth who enter ‘low-skilled’ employment abroad, and by calling attention to subjective understandings of occupational mobility and the new ‘symbolic boundaries’ around skills, broadly construed, that migrants redrew in their reflections on career progress.

Funding

Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, YMOBILITY Project, Grant 649491

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Programme, EUMIGRE Project, Grant 658694

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies on 23 November 2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/1369183X.2019.1679411.

Acceptance date

10/10/2019

Publication date

2019-11-23

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

1369-183X

eISSN

1469-9451

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Aija Lulle. Deposit date: 12 November 2019

Exports

Loughborough Publications

Categories

Exports