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Futures in line? Occupational choice among migrant adult students in Sweden

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The aim of this article is to analyse the ways in which migration plays out in adult students’ narratives about their occupational choice and future, focusing on three individual narratives of adult students with various experiences of migration to Sweden. Drawing on Sara Ahmed’s conception of orientation, our results show how the adult students’ narratives on their future occupations are formed on the basis of migration, pertaining to their particular experiences of being recognised as migrant Others. Among the three students, similar challenges emerge in terms of their claims for belonging. One the one hand, the students do claim belonging to the Swedish social community. On the other hand, they are – as ‘migrants’ – repeatedly reminded of their non-belonging to this community. In various ways, they feel out of place. Although migration, in the narratives, is not played out one and the same way, but in various ways, engagement in adult education as a means of finding a job appear as the main orientation guiding the futures of the adult students, as being an important way of finding a future and claim one’s belonging to the Swedish social community.
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Keywords: Occupational choice; belonging; migration; narrative; orientation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden 2: Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Publication date: January 2, 2019

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