Setting the Stage: Being Successful and Negotiating New (Mainstream) Identities
AutorInnen: Schneider, Jens; Konyali, Ali; Waldring, Ismintha; Pulinx, Reinhilde Publikationsjahr: 2022
This chapter focuses on self-definitions among professionally successful members of the second generation in four European countries: Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. The analysis departs from a concept of identity that allows for simultaneous and intersecting references to different categories of belonging, and looks for the ways in which second-generation professionals in Western Europe position themselves in relation to three main relevant aspects: (a) being successful professionals in their specific fields; (b) being socially mobile, thus having achieved a middle-class status; and (c) being ‘second generation’, i.e. being raised in a country to which their parents had migrated from another country. The analysis looks at personal strategies for navigating the discursive challenges and external ascriptions between feelings of home and success, on the one side, and Othering experiences and ‘home country’ references in their families etc., on the other. The results indicate that high levels of education and professional and middle-class positions open up a range of possibilities to make more active choices in self-defining their belonging and individual ‘life worlds’ – including places of residence, the intensity of family relations, choice of social relations and preferred working environments.