CfP: What turns the European labour market into a fortress? ESA 2017 conference

*Call for Papers for the Research Stream*: What turns the European labour market into a fortress?

The European Sociological Association’s 2017 conference „(Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities, Subjectivities“ will take place from August 29-September 1 in Athens.

Conference website:

Abstracts: 250 words, to be submitted before February 1:

RS16 – What turns the European labour market into a fortress?

Coordinators: Hans Siebers, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Bridget Anderson, University of Oxford

Alice Bloch, University of Manchester

Patrizia Zanoni, Hasselt University

*Description of the Research Stream*

Ethno-migrant inequality remains a persistent trait of the labour market in Europe. Our knowledge about the mechanisms and factors that produce the obstacles and boundaries that migrants face when trying to equally participate in the labour market is incomplete. To advance our knowledge, we need to explore the impact of institutional and discursive factors that stem from the labour market itself, drawing on a combination of macro-quantitative and meso/micro-qualitative studies and highlighting the articulations of various factors and mechanisms.

*General call for papers*

Inequality between migrants (refugees, labour migrants, family reunification, etc.) and non-migrants remains a very serious problem in the capitalist labour markets of Europe. It challenges solidarities and may be decisive in the further making of Europe to become either an open society or a fortress against others. The main explanations of this ethnomigrant inequality point to differences in human capital and social capital, to the impact of government policies and legislation as well as to the consequences of discrimination and exclusion. However, our knowledge about the mechanisms and factors that produce this ethno-migrant inequality in access to jobs, pay, information, fair assessments, development opportunities, promotion chances and fair outflow procedures still remains limited and incomplete.

Possible session themes include but are not limited to:

– The institutional and discursive factors and mechanisms that are operational in the labour market and society itself in addition to focusing on the characteristics of groups of migrants. For example, societal discourses and policies on ethnicity and migrancy as well as specific management practices and forms of labour control may play a vital role either in opening up or in closing down space for migrants in the labour market. Here also the ethno-migrant consequences of the precarization of labour relations needs further exploration.

– More fruitful interactions between macro and micro/meso studies that so far tend to go separate ways. Micro/meso studies on subjectivity and interactions between migrants and non-migrants, for example in particular organisations, may benefit from a more macro context perspective, whereas macro studies could make more use of micro/meso studies to pose relevant questions and to interpret data. The interplay between empirical studies and drawing of various theoretical sources will enhance our understanding of the place of migrants at work.

– The interactions between the various factors and mechanisms that produce ethnomigrant inequality. For example, is migrants’ less disposal of human capital than nonmigrants due to them having acquired less specific capital in their countries of origin, or is their human capital appreciated and valorised less by employers due to discrimination or have they become the object of ethnicization processes in education in the country their currently live in? There is evidence for all these issues, but we know little about their relative weight and interactions.

– The various subjectivities and experiences of migrants themselves to resist, to cope with exclusion, to look for ways of empowerment and for spaces of upward mobility and the degrees of success resulting from these various efforts and approaches. This far from exclusive list calls for a comparative perspective in which studies in various parts of Europe and on various sectors and levels of the labour market can be compared. Papers are welcome on one of more of these topics, taking an empirical and/or theoretical perspective.

*Timeline *

1st February 2017 Abstract submission deadline

1st April Notification of acceptance (sent to abstract submitters via ConfTool in early April)

1st May Early-bird registration deadline

1st June Paper givers registration deadline

1st August Printing of the programme

29 Aug. to 1 Sep. 13th ESA conference in Athens

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