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Vital conjunctures, shifting horizons: high-skilled female immigrants looking for work

Vital conjunctures, shifting horizons: high-skilled female immigrants looking for work Focusing on the underdeveloped field of high-skilled female migration, this article relies on life story interviews with high-skilled women immigrating for reasons other than work.The article conceptualizes migration as a`vital conjuncture', a critical life period in which both different futures and different identities are at stake, and shows how some women — mostly with skills from the natural sciences — were able to retain former professional identities. Other women, facing the threat of becoming `just housewives', found work in the higher-skilled sectors of the labour market in different ways: through re-educating themselves; by becoming `cultural brokers' for other immigrants; or by returning to their home country. Women unable to follow through on one of these four options lost claims to being high-skilled. The analysis contributes to our understanding of both high-skilled female migration and the centrality of identity in constraining or enabling movement within social structures. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Work, Employment and Society SAGE

Vital conjunctures, shifting horizons: high-skilled female immigrants looking for work

Work, Employment and Society , Volume 23 (1): 22 – Mar 1, 2009

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References (73)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0950-0170
eISSN
1469-8722
DOI
10.1177/0950017008099781
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Focusing on the underdeveloped field of high-skilled female migration, this article relies on life story interviews with high-skilled women immigrating for reasons other than work.The article conceptualizes migration as a`vital conjuncture', a critical life period in which both different futures and different identities are at stake, and shows how some women — mostly with skills from the natural sciences — were able to retain former professional identities. Other women, facing the threat of becoming `just housewives', found work in the higher-skilled sectors of the labour market in different ways: through re-educating themselves; by becoming `cultural brokers' for other immigrants; or by returning to their home country. Women unable to follow through on one of these four options lost claims to being high-skilled. The analysis contributes to our understanding of both high-skilled female migration and the centrality of identity in constraining or enabling movement within social structures.

Journal

Work, Employment and SocietySAGE

Published: Mar 1, 2009

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