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Young people’s entry into the labour market – opportunities, strategies and gatekeepers
Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2011 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article is based on results from a qualitative study of recruitment processes and job searches. The focus lies on the saliens of interpersonal processes that create potential value in social networks. As is well established, most job vacancies are filled via social networks or informal recruitment procedures. However, social network recruitment also contributes to the reproduction of inequality structures in society. Whether a social network creates opportunities or not means more than having contacts in the labour market. According to Zhou and Bankston (2002:286), the value of social relations is relative, i.e. a social network can function as social capital in one context but lack value in another. In other words, the value of social capital is context-bound and open to negotiation.

This article discusses the significance of these relations and their link to society’s structural conditions based on different network studies and an interactional perspective. The empirical data is based on interviews with young people who work in a fast-food chain, and their managers. Three young persons describe their entry into the labour market and their social networks. How do they feel about referring, or being referred to a workplace by their friends and relatives? Are their choices and perceived horizons of action influenced by society’s preconceptions and prejudices? Are their opportunities affected by their parents’ position and social networks? Do they feel that their social networks create opportunities or limitations?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2011. , 16 p.
ThemES - Themes on Migration and Ethnic Studies, ISSN 1651-8306 ; 2011:37
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70025OAI: diva2:434536
Available from: 2011-08-15 Created: 2011-08-15 Last updated: 2011-08-15Bibliographically approved

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Tovatt, Caroline
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REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and SocietyDepartment of Social and Welfare StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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