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Cultural demands on skilled immigrants, a devaluation of human capital: The case of immigrant physicians in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Välfärd och Livslopp)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Migration Research, ISSN 1799-649X, Vol. 3, no 1, 3-9 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The difficulties immigrant doctors encounter can be considered as an impediment to accessing skilful work, and are thus an indication of ethnic bias. Therefore the term “devaluation of human capital” is here used to analyze one case where schooling and/or licensure from other countries are less recognized. This study focuses on the case of immigrant doctors in Sweden and their difficulties in achieving similar status positions there as their Swedish counterparts. The study is based on a qualitative study of the Swedish medical journal over time and the aim was to broaden the understanding about how the skills of immigrant doctors are described in this context. Results show that, immigrant doctors in Sweden are constructed as assets when their language-skills are helpful in relation with immigrant patients. In this case the human capital of immigrant doctors is not devaluated, but often they are also considered as a threat to the ‘trustworthiness’ of the profession of doctors. Cultural authorization is a concept presented in this article that can help describing a profession’s way of re-evaluating immigrant professionals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 3, no 1, 3-9 p.
Keyword [en]
Skilled immigration; social capital; physicians; devaluation; professional change
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Sociology; Social Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-199541DOI: 10.2478/v10202-012-0008-6OAI: diva2:619942
Available from: 2013-05-07 Created: 2013-05-07 Last updated: 2013-05-07Bibliographically approved

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Salmonsson, LisaMella, Orlando
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