Erik Olsson
Erik Olsson

The overall aim of the project is to account for deeper knowledge on the career pathways and upward mobility of descendants of migrants in Sweden. Since especially non-Western migrants are subject to discriminatory practices in the Swedish society it is important to study how migrants deal with any obstacles and become ‘successful’, thus potentially also included in the ‘upcoming elite’. In accomplishing this the project will focus on the descendants of migrants – i.e. migrants arriving at an early age or children of a family that has migrated to Sweden – and how this category is positioned in terms of elite recruitment.

The project will systematically study how descendants of migrants act and navigate in order to have successful careers and what positions their achievements result in. It will compare the pathways of ‘descendants of migrants’ with a reference group of Swedish ‘natives’ composed of individuals born in Sweden with two native-born parents. How does the career pathways of individuals included in the potential elite differ with respect to their (immigrant/native) background and how are these pathways created? How are class, gender and ‘ethnic’ factors entangled in the career pathways of individuals in the studied groups? How are factors related to ‘transnationality’ affecting the career pathways of individuals in the respective groups?

The following questions will also be studied: How are the strategies employed by the successful individuals shaped in order to cope with and mitigate any obstacles to reach top positions? How are the successful individuals mobilising support from their kin and social network for the purpose of upward mobility?

The project is part of an international collaboration studying the emergence of elites among migrants in several European countries.

Find out more about Erik Olsson’s research.

Find out more about the projects at Stockholm University that were awarded grants from the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation (in Swedish).