Pathways to success

We focus on educational and professional careers by Turkish and former Yugoslavian second generation descendents in the Swiss cities of Basle, Zurich and Geneva. Our aim is to identify main factors – i.e. personal, social but also institutional – influencing educational trajectories as well as occupational careers. The main part of this study consists of hundred qualitative in-depth interviews with people of Turkish and former Yugoslavian origin as well as a comparison group of native parantage who are working in different professional sectors.

In a first step, we examined the educational and occupational trajectories among second-generation immigrants in Switzerland by using a representative sample of  the TIES survey. Findings published in the Journal of International Migration and Integration revealed that young adults of Turkish and Western Balkan origin were significantly more often upward mobile than the majority group, a pattern that was robust against a range of controls. (Infographic)

We found parental monitoring and family cohesion to be positively related with upward mobility. Moreover, second-generation immigrants were more likely to be upwardly mobile than starting high in the education system but subsequently moving downwards – a profile that was more frequent among Swiss origin youth. Our results indicated that a lack of intense parent-child communication and perceived discrimination in school were affecting this downward process.

In the steps that follow, the Swiss data will be compared to findings from other European countries. Results have been published in the Swiss Journal of Sociology  and will appear in a co-edited book chapter for New Social Mobilities (Springer).

For some preliminary comparative results, read the german ‘Pathways to Success’ Policy Brief or the summary published in the Mercator Magazin 02/2016. You´ll find further information here.