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Ethnic Segmentation in School and Labor Market: 40 Year Legacy of Austrian Guestworker Policy

Barbara Herzog-Punzenberger
The International Migration Review
Vol. 37, No. 4, The Future of the Second Generation: The Integration of Migrant Youth in Six European Countries (Winter, 2003), pp. 1120-1144
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30037788
Page Count: 25
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Ethnic Segmentation in School and Labor Market: 40 Year Legacy of Austrian Guestworker Policy
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Abstract

Compared to other countries in Europe, official figures in Austria, however incomplete, indicate that pessimism towards successful integration of immigrants and their children is justified. With regard to schooling and labor market, it is not only the first generation of the so-called guest-workers who seem to be stuck at low levels of the social hierarchy, but also the second generation. This is especially true for the descendants of Turkish immigrants. Among important factors to explain their educational position are the highly selective school system and the young age in which compulsory education ends. Relevant labor-market features explain the low unemployment figures as well as the low permeability into some occupational positions and branches. Other important factors to explain the high share of low educational tracks among descendants of Turkish guestworkers are found in the difficult legal situation of families caused by the restrictive and highly complicated residence and work permission system of the past. It did not allow parents and their children to consider more ambitious educational and professional careers. All in all, the Austrian situation is a telling result of a 30-year absence of concerted action in the field of immigrant integration.

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