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Mobilizing performativity in studies of immigrants' labour market integration

Conference contribution
Authors Andreas Diedrich
Hanna Hellgren
Published in Proceedings - Conference on Immigration and Labour Market Integration – a European Challenge for the 21st Century, 13-15 November, 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden
Publication year 2017
Published at School of Public Administration
Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Language en
Keywords Integration, organizing, immigrants, performativity
Subject categories Business Administration, Ethnography, Economics and Business


Increasing importance is being placed on the integration of recent immigrants in European and Swedish migration governance raising the question of how integration is defined in practice. This paper presents a qualitative analysis of a sample of integration initiatives undertaken in one large city in Sweden. The purpose is to identify which type of actions are intended, promoted, and become part of practice under the label of integration. The analysis shows that despite the variety of actions, they can be summarised into four core actions: increasing collaboration, promoting holistic integration, facilitating local growth, and supporting employability. As opposed to formal definitions of integration, in this study, a performative definition of integration as something heterogeneous, contradictory and constantly evolving emerges. Such a definition of integration in practice provides an understanding of the organisational dynamics of integration.

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