Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN35_01a_P: Social Mobility I
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Beata Sokolowska, Trinity College Dublin
Location: PC.3.19
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: C, Level: 3.

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“Brain drain” or “brain gain”? A macro-typology on youth mobility for EU/EFTA countries focussing on the creation/exploitation of human capital

Karen Hemming, Frank Tillmann

German Youth Institute, Germany

Youth mobility is seen as a driving force for Europe. However, some countries benefit more than others and the constellation of interests differ. On the one hand, countries profit from long-term incoming mobility leading to a higher economic value creation. On the other hand, sending countries lose human capital, especially when highly qualified young people move abroad, the so called “brain drain”. Additionally, national economies benefit from returning youth who gained skills and competences abroad. The frequently used centre-periphery-model (Wallerstein, 1979) does not cover the full complexity of the phenomenon. Thus, we will present a country typology focusing on the creation/exploitation of human capital (Becker, 2009).

The study is based on descriptive analyses of secondary mobility macro-indicators (2004-2013) as part of the EU-project “MOVE” which has received funding from the EU-Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement No.649263. Due to a lack of youth mobility macro-indicators for Europe, individual datasets from the EU Labour-Force-Survey (accessed via EUROSTAT) were aggregated per year/country.

To represent the ambivalent meaning of youth mobility, the typology is based on two patterns: A) mobility episodes deploying/exploiting human capital (e.g. long-term-incoming-mobility), and B) mobility episodes creating human capital (e.g. short-term-incoming-mobility). Given that each pattern can have a high- or low-value (average for observed period), a combination of both patterns results in a four-panel-table reflecting four types of mobility: mobility-promoters (low AB), mobility-fallers (low A, high B), mobility-beneficiaries (high A, low B), and mobility-utilisers (high AB). Almost all EU-28/EFTA countries could be allocated to one of the panels. The typology will be presented and discussed emphasising policy recommendations.

Making Mexican masks together – collaborative methods as a way of doing research together with unaccompanied minors in Finland

Anna-Kaisa Kuusisto-Arponen, Kristiina Korjonen-Kuusipuro, Jaakko Tuominen

University of Tampere, Finland

The year 2015 brought a sudden increase in numbers of unaccompanied minors when more than 3 000 unaccompanied minors claimed asylum in Finland. The new social situation has revealed that unaccompanied refugee minors are exposed to the fragility and limitations of nationally standardized solutions of institutional care, schooling and social services provided for them. Several social integration measures and schemes take too simplistic, territorially restrictive and objectifying a stance on these children’s and youth’s daily realities. In this presentation we argue that in order to support solidarities and subjectivities in the processes of the making, unmaking and remaking of Europe, recognition of the lived transcultural and translocal sense of belonging and selfhood among unaccompanied minors is needed.

Empirically we draw on ethnographic field work conducted with unaccompanied refugee minors (age 14-16 years) in Finland, autumn 2016. We participated five art workshops organized by two artists to make Mexican paper masks. The workshops were carried out in the school´s art class and the aim of these workshops was to increase contacts between Finnish pupils and unaccompanied minors who normally study in preparatory class. Our research materials consist of field work notes, photographs and videos. Through these we analyse practices of transcultural belonging and the emerging social dynamics among the youth. We also discuss the ethics of collaborative methods and what kind of research material being and doing together are produces.

Keywords: transcultural belonging, ethnography, art, collaborative methods, doing together, unaccompanied minors, Finland

Muslim Religion – Bridge or Barrier to Labor Market Integration?

Linda Esther Hennig

University of Münster, Germany

The Muslim minority in Western Europe is supposed to have lower rates of labor force participation. Especially with regard to women it is not clear whether discrimination (i.e. because of the headscarf) or religious values (that are expected to encourage traditional role patterns) negatively affect employment.

The presentation will be based on qualitative data of an ongoing doctoral thesis focusing the role of Islam in professional biographies of women in Germany and France who grew up in families of migrant workers and who are professionals in the health and social sector.

First, I would like to discuss factors that reinforce exclusion on the one hand or enhance integration and upward social mobility on the other hand, and how they correlate with religion, class, gender, and ethnicity. There are “hard” factors like economic resources and networks of migrant families, and there are “soft” factors like the expectation of chances on the labor market and the individual coping with discrimination as well as attitudes towards work shaped by religious values.

Second, I would like to shed light on conflicts arising in different national working environments of pious Muslim women and how they are dealt with. Conflicts mainly occur because of an existing climate of distrust towards (visible) Muslim belonging and practice of religion, because of the role expectation to represent a minority group or to be an expert who is able to provide information about detailed theological aspects.

We can argue that the development of personal ways of dealing with conflicts occurring in working environments because of Muslim belonging and religious practice may be crucial in order to achieve a successful career.

Capitalism and subjectivities in the ‘making of a migrant’: the role of intermediaries in young Bulgarian’s decisions to study and work in the UK

Elena Genova

University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

After years of European integration, Favell’s (2008) ‘Eurostars’ have been joined by many, who perceive the freedom of movement as a right, rather than a privilege. The young Bulgarians born shortly before or after the democratic changes in 1989 are no exception. Often referred to as the ‘children of transition’, while these young Bulgarians have grown up in a context of turbulent socio-economic changes, they have also been some of the first to benefit from the rights granted by European citizenship.

Drawing on 37 semi-structured interviews, this paper explores Bulgarian university students’ and young professionals’ decisions to pursue their education and/or professional realisation in Britain. More specifically, a meso level analysis of the data indicates the key role intermediaries such as family members, friendship circles, secondary schools and consultancy agencies play in shaping young Bulgarians’ migratory projects. Thus, the latter are underpinned by the ambitions and dissatisfactions of family members, peer pressure, earlier educational choices and the ‘business with education’, epitomised by the abundance of consultancy agencies and fairs that facilitate the university application process. Ultimately, the paper argues that scrutinising the role of intermediaries in shaping migratory projects offers an insight into complex interplay of capitalism and subjectivities in migration, allowing the in-depth understanding of young Bulgarians’ pre-migratory experiences.

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