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Disadvantage, Ethnic Niching or Pursuit of a Vision?: Motives of Immigrant Women Care Entrepreneurs in the Ageing Swedish Society
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2012 (English)In: Journal of International Migration and Integration, ISSN 1488-3473, Vol. 13, no 4, 423-440 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As immigrant groups grow older, host societies are faced with new challenges of integration. In a labor market that is structured by ethnicity and gender, the demand for culturally competent care provides immigrant women with the opportunity to become entrepreneurs within the care sector. This article analyzes 20 in-depth interviews with immigrant women from 13 countries who are entrepreneurs in home-help services for elderly people. The article analyzes the complex motives behind the women’s entrepreneurship. Ethnic entrepreneurship has mainly been approached as a way for immigrants to survive in the labor market—the disadvantage theory—or as a means to create job opportunities for co-ethnics within ethnic economies. Opposed to this, three main motives appear in the analysis: first, the processes of ethnic and gender sorting in the care sector; second, ethnic strategies in the labor market; and third, the wish to gain independence and improve the quality of care. Only in a few cases is ethnic entrepreneurship practiced within ethnic economies; instead, it is mainly found within cross-cultural economies, consisting of employees and customers of mixed origin who are embedded in a majority society. The women construct their ethnic identities to compete in the segmented Swedish labor market by creating ethnic identities of care that are adjusted to meet the needs of their customers in a cross-cultural society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 13, no 4, 423-440 p.
Keyword [en]
Ethnic and women’s entrepreneurship, Ethnic economies, Cross-cultural economies, Culturally competent care, Sweden
National Category
International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Research subject
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85806OAI: diva2:584906
Mobility in the segregated labour market? Possibilities and limitations of entrepreneurship
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2013-02-18Bibliographically approved

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Hedberg, Charlotta
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