chapter  12
13 Pages

Unequal Integration

Skilled Migrants’ Conditional Inclusion Along the Lines of Swedishness, Class and Ethnicity 1
WithElin Hunger, Miguel Morillas, Laurence Romani, Mohammed Mohsen

This chapter presents three intersecting dimensions (‘Swedishness’, class and ethnicity) in the context of labour-market integration of highly educated professionals perceived as skilled migrants in their new home society: Sweden. The case centres on an initiative—an internship—for labour integration of migrants with a foreign academic degree and who are currently unemployed. The empirics, based on interviews with current and former interns, as well as with managers at the large Swedish company organizing the intership, revolve around the interns’ experiences before, during and sometimes after participating in the internship. The case shows that topics such as the language spoken at work, social interaction and interrelatedness, and remuneration practices, as well as experiences of ethnicized encounters, reveal the implicit power structures of Swedish society: in the Swedish work context, the interns’ abilities and experiences are judged based on what is considered appropriate (‘Swedish’) in terms of lifestyles and habits.