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The culture of employment: a study of immigrant women's attitudes about working in Malmö, Sweden

Kaura, Priyanka (2013) The culture of employment: a study of immigrant women's attitudes about working in Malmö, Sweden. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Sweden has long been recognized as an egalitarian Nordic welfare state, which promotes generous labor and citizenship rights for its residents, including women and immigrants. In cultural discourse and academic studies, high labor force participation signifies social equality for women, as well as successful integration for immigrants. This paper uses the experiences and attitudes of immigrant women in Sweden as a platform to study the links between Sweden’s progressive gender norms, employment culture, and immigration policies. I examine pre-immigration and post-immigration factors that may affect women’s attitudes about working after they move to Sweden. I categorize this research as a study of “cultural employment integration” to signify that it combines notions of cultural and economic immigrant integration. I designed the study to take into account the diverse cultural factors in immigrant women’s lives in order to question common notions about whether and why immigrant women would like to be employed. The empirical foundation for this paper is 22 interviews I conducted with 23 immigrant women living in the “multicultural” city of Malmö, Sweden, in 2012. I asked interviewees about their family backgrounds, immigration histories, work experiences, and beliefs about familial responsibilities, both before and after moving to Sweden. Five common trends emerged as important to women’s attitudes about work: mothering, family experiences, educational experiences and attitudes, Swedish language skill, and participants’ perceptions of gender norms in their home countries and in Sweden. These five facets are central to the gender equality discourse in Sweden. The discussion expands previous studies of immigration by considering the effects of gender, ethnicity, previous experiences, and citizenship on women’s post-immigration attitudes. The results may be useful to consider when designing cultural and employment integration programs for immigrant women.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCrage, Suzannascrage@pitt.eduSCRAGE
Committee MemberBrush, Lisalbrush@pitt.eduLBRUSH
Committee MemberHughes, Melaniehughesm@pitt.eduHUGHESM
Committee MemberHotchkiss,
Date: 26 April 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 April 2013
Approval Date: 26 April 2013
Submission Date: 19 April 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 88
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
University Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: women, work, immigrants, employment integration, Sweden, Malmö, gender, migration, Muslim
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2013 17:29
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:12


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