Schnell, Philipp; Fibbi, Rosita
Journal of International Migration and Integration, Volume 17, Issue 4, 1085-1107
Publication year: 2016

This paper examines the educational and occupational trajectories among second-generation immigrants of Turkish and Western-Balkan origin in Switzerland. Using a representative sample of 1107 respondents in two Swiss urban areas, the findings reveal that descendants of immigrants have reduced chances to follow a constant successful path from education to occupation, which is mainly determined by parental socioeconomic status. However, young adults of Turkish and Western Balkan origin are significantly more often upward mobile than the majority group, a pattern that is robust against a range of controls. We find parental monitoring and family cohesion to be positively related with upward mobility. Moreover, second-generation immigrants are more likely to be upwardly mobile than starting high in the education system but subsequently moving downwards—a profile that is more frequent among Swiss origin youth. Our multivariate results indicate that a lack of intense parent–child communication and perceived discrimination in school are affecting this downward process.