Cultural Capital during Migration—A Multi-level Approach for the Empirical Analysis of the Labor Market Integration of Highly Skilled Migrants

Arnd-Michael Nohl, Karin Schittenhelm, Oliver Schmidtke, Anja Weiß


The integration of highly qualified migrants into the labor market can be an opportunity for knowledge societies because their prosperity depends on the incorporation and improvement of cultural capital. In this paper we present a qualitative research approach with which we analyze on several levels how migrants make use of their cultural capital during their entry into the labor market: in addition to the biographical experience of migrants we analyze how this experience is embedded in milieus, social networks and self-organizations (meso-level) and structured by the macro-level of judicial regulations of immigration and labor market policies. Our empirical analysis is focused by the assumed importance of educational qualification and residence status during entry into the labor market. Four different groups of empirical cases, which differ with respect to the level of education, the place of its acquisition (at home or abroad) as well as to their residence status, are compared to each other. In order to study the contingencies of meso and macro-social contexts, labor-market integration will be examined in the context of Germany as well as in Canada, Great Britain and Turkey.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0603143


migration; cultural capital; status passage; highly qualified migrants; narrative interviews; documentary method; country comparison; labor market


Copyright (c) 2006 Arnd-Michael Nohl, Karin Schittenhelm, Oliver Schmidtke, Anja Weiß

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