Understanding access to the labour market through migration channels
Résumé The mobility of the ‘highly skilled’ has become widely researched but only a few researchers have approached this category of migrants from a critical perspective. This article argues that understanding how ‘highly skilled migrants’ are constructed necessitates considering the conditions in which migration takes place as well as the perceptions and practices associated with these conditions. It uses the concept of ‘migration channels’ to investigate the enabling and disabling factors associated with different migration situations. The analysis draws on biographic interviews with highly educated migrants in Switzerland, and supplements these with expert interviews and ethnographic observations of people working in institutions that support, guide, or control migrants’ access to the labour market. The article shows that categories of migrants are artificial and often do not coincide with lived realities. Migrants actively develop strategies to achieve their personal aspirations, but they also depend on the opportunities available in their environment. The concept of ‘migration channels’ enables us to capture this interplay between structures and agency by showing how different actors shape the opportunities and constraints faced by different groups of migrants, and how migrants actively deal with them. This concept thus fosters a critical yet empathic understanding of migration experiences.
Mots-clés highly skilled migrants; migration channels; labour-market access; migration intermediaries
Citation Sandoz Laure, Understanding access to the labour market through migration channels, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 46, no 1, 2020, p. 222-241.
Type Article de périodique (Anglais)
Date de publication 2020
Nom du périodique Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume 46
Numéro 1
Pages 222-241
URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1369183X.201...