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Imagined independence among highly skilled Swedish labour migrants

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Ylva Wallinder
Publicerad i Sociologisk forskning
Volym 56
Nummer/häfte 1
Sidor 27-51
ISSN 0038-0342
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap
Sidor 27-51
Språk en
Länkar du.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:...
Ämnesord Highly skilled labour migration, intra-European mobility, symbolic capital, im/mobility of capital, Swedish migrants
Ämneskategorier Sociologi

Sammanfattning

The political discussion on intra-European mobility differentiates between mobile, internationally employable individuals and immobile, locally employed ones. Mobile EU citizens, in turn, are subdivided into “attractive” highly skilled workers and “unwanted” lower skilled workers. Transnational labour mobility among the highly skilled often results from an individual’s free will to move, disregarding structural reasons. This article examines the expectations and experiences of highly skilled Swedish labour migrants seeking qualified employment in Germany and the UK, exploring their strategies and modes of handling the mismatch between expectations and actual experiences. The findings demonstrate that the vulnerability migrants experience while working abroad does not seem to affect their self-understanding of being independent, flexible and highly mobile European citizens. The interviewees’ self-understanding is therefore conceptualised as an imagined independence, and one that stands in sharp contrast to their experiences of vulnerability and unexpected difficulty in the host country.

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