Ethnic niche formation at the top? Second-generation immigrants in Norwegian high-status occupations
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEthnic and Racial Studies. 2019, 42 (16), 177-195. 10.1080/01419870.2019.1638954
As an increasing number of highly educated second-generation immigrants are entering the labour market, their occupational trajectories are of growing interest. This article examines processes of mainstream inclusion and ethnic niche formation among second-generation individuals in three high-status professions in Norway: medicine, law and business and finance. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 62 descendants of labour migrants from Pakistan, Turkey, Morocco and India, the article identifies processes of ethnic niche formation both within mainstream firms and in the form of ethnic entrepreneurship. These processes do not simply reflect blocked opportunities to access the mainstream or strategic capitalization on ethnic resources but appear largely as unintended consequences of the ethnic competence of the second generation. Theoretically, the article contributes to the literature by offering a framework for studying the prevalence and mechanisms of ethnic niche formation at the top of the labour market hierarchy.