Conquering the labour market: the socioeconomic enablement of refugee women in Austria

Maite Ibanez Bollerhoff, David W. Schiestl, Bernhard Kittel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Refugee women from the Near and Middle East face specific challenges when entering the Austrian labour market. Particularly gender-based factors, including care and reproductive work, exert pressure on these women and constitute major hurdles for successful entry into employment in Austria. Based on nine qualitative interviews with refugee women who swiftly gained entry to the labour market as well as ten qualitative interviews with experts from public and private support organisations, we investigate refugee women’s social and cultural capital as well as the individual agencies that foster paths into the labour market. We introduce the concept of enablement as the process of gathering the preconditions for overcoming the challenges that arise on that path. Finally, we illuminate the ways in which the three dimensions of individual, relational and institutional enablement interrelate and shape individual agency with regard to labour market integration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number53
JournalComparative Migration Studies
Issue number1
Early online date3 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Anniversary Fund of the Austrian National Bank [17176].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • migration
  • integration
  • refugees
  • gender


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