Ethnic minority students' career expectations in prospective professions: Navigating between ambitions and discrimination
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAbrahamsen, B. & Drange, I. (2014). Ethnic minority students' career expectations in prospective professions: Navigating between ambitions and discrimination. Sociology. doi: 10.1177/0038038514542494 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038514542494
This study sheds light on how ethnic minority students in Norway seek to navigate occupational opportunities after graduating from professional bachelor programmes. Students’ career ambitions and career expectations are investigated. The study adopts a comparative approach and includes students of Asian origin and western minority students as well as majority students. The findings show that ethnic minorities have higher career ambitions than majority students, but their career expectations are not correspondingly high. The study identifies ethnicity both as a resource (ethnic capital) and as an obstacle in the pursuit of a professional career. Structural disadvantages such as perceived discrimination seem to curb the utility of ethnic capital in capitalising on occupational opportunities, particularly for managerial positions. Ethnicity as a resource seems to play a role among both Asian and western minority students, and appears particularly strong in the development of career ambitions and in the efforts to pursue educational qualifications.