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Immigration, Integration and Street-Level Work - Empirical Insights from a in-Depth Case Study of NAV (in Bergen, Norway)

EasyChair Preprint no. 13543

3 pagesDate: June 4, 2024


Despite significant efforts by the Norwegian welfare state to promote work inclusion for all, including migrant and refugee women, these women continue to face low labor market participation and precarious work conditions. This paper investigates the interplay of individual and contextual factors in perpetuating these inequalities.

Moving beyond individual factors like language proficiency and formal skills, the paper explores how frontline workers within the Norwegian social security agency translate policy responses to migration (here: Qualification programme) into concrete actions. By examining the challenges and dilemmas the organizations and their workers face in increasingly diverse societies, in applying regulations and meeting needs of their users, the paper analyses how street-level practices shape the lived experiences of migrant women.

This study is part of the EQUALPART project, funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN 324298). The project involved extensive ethnographic field research conducted within the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) over a period of two years. The data collection methods included weekly observations and repetitive in-depth interviews with street-level bureaucrats (SLBs) within NAV. The data obtained from these observations and interviews provide valuable insights into the practices, experiences, and reflections of SLBs as they support unemployed immigrants and adapt services to meet their needs.

This research builds upon previous studies that demonstrate the significance of how ethnicity is constructed and given meaning in influencing SLBs' perceptions of clients, their support needs, and employment opportunities (e.g. Volckmar-Eeg 2021). Additionally, this study highlights the importance of SLBs' experiences and their varying power positions (e.g. the power to express opinions, gain influence, and be heard) in shaping the provision of guidance and follow-up support.

Keyphrases: co-production of services, Immigrants, KVP, NAV, Supported Employment

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Astrid Ouahyb Sundsbø},
  title = {Immigration, Integration and Street-Level Work - Empirical Insights from a in-Depth Case Study of NAV (in Bergen, Norway)},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 13543},

  year = {EasyChair, 2024}}
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