Article in:Narrative Inquiry: Online-First Articles
Social and cultural capital in the narratives of former refugees
Navigating the labour market in a new context can be a challenge for any migrant, and particularly so for former refugees, who are often unable to find employment appropriate for their qualification and experience levels. This study takes an Interactional Sociolinguistic approach to exploring how three former refugees navigate employability in narrative, from the social constructionist perspective of employable identities, emergent from and negotiated within discourse. The study focuses specifically on the participants’ discursive navigation of their various (Bourdieusian) social and cultural capital and its importance to labour market performance. Evident in the data are the difficulties of translating – or having recognised – a lifetime’s accumulation of capital, often rendered worthless upon migration. Such challenges impact upon forced migrants’ ability to successfully enact employability, and subsequently upon their imagined (future) identities. This research highlights former refugees’ complex challenges involved with successful navigation of employability in a new context.
- Employable Identities
- Cultural capital
- Social capital
Published online: 14 October 2021
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