The Workplace as an Arena for Identity Affirmation and Social Integration of Immigrants


  • Marko Valenta Norwegian University of Science and Technology



immigrants, identity-work, Norway, social integration, workplace


The social integration of first generation immigrants in Norway is the main topic of this paper. If certain conditions are fulfilled, a workplace may be a key arena for identity reproduction and social integration. For some, they are a means of finding new acquaintances and having their identity affirmed. For others, they will seem closed off, and even appear as sources of social exclusion and discrediting. If we look beyond the general reasons for the absence of social relations between immigrants and hosts we may find some further explanations in the nature of the work immigrants tend to have. In this article, I focus at three mechanisms that influence their integration and identity reproduction at the workplace: a) The meanings immigrants attached to contact structures at the workplace, b) the degree of occupational displacement that immigrants experience and c) the occupational status and the status position within the workplace. Given the focus on immigrants' voices, the data is mainly gathered through qualitative interviews with them. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0802140


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Author Biography

Marko Valenta, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Marko VALENTA is sociologist (Dr. phil.). He works as senior researcher at NTNU social research/Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His research/work interests are social integration of immigrants, bilingual education, ethnic relations and migration.




How to Cite

Valenta, M. (2008). The Workplace as an Arena for Identity Affirmation and Social Integration of Immigrants. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(2).



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