'It's who you know not what': migrants' encounters with regimes of skills as misrecognition

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    Abstract

    This article analyses qualitative narratives from skilled migrants using Bourdieu s concepts of misrecognition, symbolic and social capital to understand the uneven effects of migration transitions on employment outcomes among migrant groups. Transnational skilled migration is increasing to unprecedented levels, especially from non-OECD countries to OECD countries, where inward migration is a strategy to increase the skill level of workforces. Drawing on a qualitative case study of skilled migration to a regional non-metropolitan area of Australia, the article discusses the key finding that It s who you know, not what you know which enabled both skilled migrants and their partners to secure employment commensurate with their qualifications and previous employment histories. Building the right social networks postmigration were the gateways to securing employment. A regime of skills was used by employers, employment agencies and educational providers who acted as gatekeepers to employment opening up opportunities for some or closing down that for others through processes of misrecognition of the migrants experiences and skills and the prioritising of localised knowledge and native-like English accents. Through this process of misrecognition, the doxa of who should be employed and in what capacity was sustained.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)267 - 285
    Number of pages19
    JournalStudies in Continuing Education
    Volume37
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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