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On becoming a skilled migrant: towards habitus transformation through higher education

Thondhlana, Juliet

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Abstract

Research on the labour market experiences of highly skilled migrants has revealed the crippling employability challenges they face in the UK workplace resulting from the devaluation of their homeland qualifications and experiences. Studies on highly skilled migrants from Zimbabwe have revealed how migrants have to resort to semi-skilled and unskilled work for survival. Little is known, however, about the education and labour market experiences of migrants who come into the UK without degrees and subsequently acquire a UK degree. Drawing on Bourdieu’s theory of cultural capital and habitus, this article explores the higher education and labour market experiences of this group, as revealed by in-depth interviews with 20 participants. Findings reveal that these participants’ habitus is a complex dynamic interaction of diverse (pre)dispositions and strategies which result in them reporting better labour market success than Zimbabwe-degreed migrants. Arguably, their experiences suggest the emergence of a new UK-based habitus for Zimbabwean migrants.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 20, 2018
Journal Educational Review
Print ISSN 0013-1911
Electronic ISSN 1465-3397
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-20
APA6 Citation Thondhlana, J. (2018). On becoming a skilled migrant: towards habitus transformation through higher education. Educational Review, doi:10.1080/00131911.2018.1505712. ISSN 0013-1911
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2018.1505712
Keywords Higher education, cultural capital, habitus, Zimbabwean, employability, migrants
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00131911.2018.1505712
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Educational Review on 20 August 2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline..../00131911.2018.1505712.

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