How do refugees use their social capital for successful labor market integration? An exploratory analysis in Germany

D Gericke, Anne Burmeister, J Loewe, L Pundt, J Deller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using Germany as an example, this qualitative study explores how refugees use their social capital within and outside organizations to enter their host countries' labor market. Following a grounded theory approach, we interviewed 36 Syrian refugees who had already secured employment in Germany. We aim to provide in-depth information regarding the available types, uses, and benefits of social capital with regard to their access and integration into the labor market. We found that refugees have access to different types of social capital and that these types can offer different forms of support to refugees during the labor market integration process. In addition, we identify subtle differences in the kinds of support offered through vertical and horizontal bonding and bridging social capital. More specifically, we found that vertical bridging social capital is a valuable source for securing adequate employment, whereas horizontal bonding social capital and independent job-searching methods may more often lead to low-skilled work or underemployment. Our findings provide new insights into how different forms of social capital can facilitate labor market integration of refugees at different stages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-61
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Volume105
Issue numberApril
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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