Coping with Deskilling: Strategies of Migrant Women Across European Societies
The focus of this chapter is language, qualifications and skills across European countries and the strategies that migrant women use to overcome policy gaps, insufficiencies and barriers as well as blocked social mobility. The chapter investigates the role played by qualifications and language competencies as a resource for “integration”, both in the context of control-oriented migration policies and of labour market integration policies. A comparative analysis addresses policies for language acquisition in the framework of broader integration and control policies. It critically evaluates, using a gender-sensitive perspective, the infrastructures for the recognition of certificates and for language acquisition in European societies. It also analyses the strategies of new female migrants for overcoming the limitations set by socio-economic contexts and specific policies across national contexts in particular in relation to reskilling opportunities. This is also examined against the background of welfare systems, civil society structures and migration policy traditions. Examples include employing creative strategies of language self-learning, acquiring skills in terms of the self-professionalisation of care work, actively acquiring new competencies and creating paths to paid work. The role played by other actors, such as employers, co-ethnics and NGOs, in helping migrant women to access learning structures, vocational training, reskilling and language courses are also explored.
KeywordsLabour Market Host Country Asylum Seeker Domestic Work Migrant Woman
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