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Civil society’s role to enhance employment opportunities in conditions of socioeconomic challenge and diversity

Sustainability and environment
Society and economy

Keynote speech by Gabriella Elgenius, Professor in Sociology at the University of Gothenburg.

24 Nov 2023
11:00 - 11:45
Registration deadline
22 November 2023

Good to know
This speech is one of the keynotes at the OMICS Conference 2023 in Gothenburg 22 - 24 November. Read more about OMICS 2023:
School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg and Centre for Global Migration at the University of Gothenburg
Registration is closed.


Countless integration initiatives have focused on the delivery of employability skills yet have failed to address the inequalities facing minoritized populations including migrants and residents of areas facing socioeconomic challenges perhaps by focusing predominantly on human capital at the expense of structural factors that undermine access to work. This talk will focus on how civil society organisations work to enhance employment opportunities in superdiverse neighbourhoods. A broad definition of civil society includes voluntary ‘non-profit’ organisations, formal organisations as well as informal initiatives, foundations, and social enterprises. Civil society organizations adopt an “employability” approach to, using community assets, that prioritizes equipping individuals to cope with structural disadvantages by also focusing on the development of resilience through resistance, confidence building and offering hope. There is also much to learn from civil society action and its ways of working as it engages with key principles of integration such as the importance of context, multidimensionality, and shared responsibility. This talk will explore types of civil society action and ways of working from an extensive dataset and material collected over the period 2019 – 2023 in seven neighbourhoods in England and Sweden.


Gabriella Elgenius is Professor in Sociology at the University of

Gabriella Elgenius
Gabriella Elgenius

Gothenburg. She received her doctorate as a Marie Curie fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science and was later awarded a fellowship by the British Academy at the University of Oxford. Her research is comparative, multi-cited and multi-method in two main fields: civil society and integration, and nostalgia, ethnic nationalism and radical right parties. She is the project lead for a few projects on civil society’s mitigating role and contribution to local participation (LOCALiTIES, RETHINKING INTEGRATION and EMPOWERING CITIES of MIGRATION and Community or Citizen Research). Gabriella is Co-director of the Swedish Research Council’s Graduate School in Migration and Integration, Associate Member of the University of Oxford and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London.