Professional bridges: migrants’ ties with natives and occupational advancement

Morosanu, Laura (2016) Professional bridges: migrants’ ties with natives and occupational advancement. Sociology, 50 (2). pp. 349-365. ISSN 0038-0385

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Abstract

This article examines how Romanians in London use native contacts for occupational advancement. Contrary to common associations of ‘bridging’ ties with ‘weak’ ties useful for upward mobility, it illustrates the differentiated nature, role, and resources of native contacts. Drawing on Bourdieu’s capital theory, it shows how weak bridging ties with natives facilitate migrants’ access to better jobs within lower-skilled sectors, whereas strong ties with natives generate distinct cultural resources often required for high-skilled occupations. I consider two strategies of converting strong bridging ties into cultural capital, signalling some limitations of weak ties in facilitating career advancement: mobilizing British friends to act as ‘cultural brokers’, and immersion in British professional networks to acquire and demonstrate local cultural capital. The findings enhance our understanding of bridging social capital and its variable role in enabling upward mobility.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Laura Morosanu
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2015 10:32
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2016 13:51
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/53067
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