The discursive construction of gender, ethnicity and the workplace in second generation immigrants’ narratives the case of moroccan women in belgium

Dorien Van De Mieroop


This article examines the professional identity construction of three young 2nd generation immigrant women of Moroccan descent who have university degrees and high-skilled jobs. More specifically, I focus on how they construct this professional identity in relation to their gender and ethnicity. The data consist of interviews in which the interviewer explicitly probes for the relation between these topics. Interestingly, all the interviewees construct their professional identities in relatively similar ways. Furthermore, they resist the interviewer’s projections of ethno-professional identities and replace these by professional identities, thus making ethnicity irrelevant for the discussion. Finally, when discussing gendered identities, they all orient to the Western hegemonic model of the struggle in finding a work-life balance. As such, these interviewees bracket ethnicity which may be related to the role of the interviewer, interviews as a genre, and the interviewees’ orientation to societal norms.

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