Unequal Pathways. School-to-Work Trajectories for Children of Turkish and Western-Balkan Origin in Switzerland and Austria

Open access


This paper investigates educational and occupational pathways of children of Turkish and Western-Balkan origin and of the majority population in Austria and Switzerland. Using a representative sample of 2186 respondents living in two Swiss and two Austrian urban areas, our results show that descendants of immigrants have less chances to follow a constant successful path from education to occupation in both countries, mainly because successful trajectories are determined by the parent’s socioeconomic status. However, young adults of Turkish and Western Balkan origin in Switzerland are more often upward mobile than the majority group. Altogether, our results indicate slightly greater chances for upward mobility among young adults in Switzerland in comparison to Austria.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Alba Richard Jennifer Sloan and Jessica Sperling. 2011. The Integration Imperative: The Children of Low- Status Immigrants in the Schools of Wealthy Societies. Annual Review of Sociology 37: 395-415.

  • Bacher Johann. 2010. Bildungschancen von Kindern mit Migrationshintergrund. WISO 33(1): 30-48.

  • Becker Birgit. 2010. Bildungsaspirationen von Migranten: Determinanten und Umsetzung in Bildungsergebnisse. Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung Arbeitspapiere 137 http://www.mzes.uni-mannheim.de/publications/wp/wp-137.pdf (10.09.2015).

  • Bertschy Kathrin Edi Böni and Thomas Meyer. 2007. Les jeunes en transition de la formation au monde du travail. Survol de résultats de la recherche longitudinale TREE http://edudoc.ch/record/33360/files/TREE_Ergebnis-Updatewie-Resultat9_2007_frz.pdf (12.01.2015).

  • Brinbaum Yaël and Annick Kieffer. 2005. D’une génération à l’autre les aspirations éducatives des familles immigrées: Ambition et perséverance. Éducation et formations 72(9): 53-75.

  • Buchmann Claudia and Ben Dalton. 2002. Interpersonal Influences and Educational Aspirations in 12 countries: The Importance of Institutional Context. Sociology of Education 75(2): 99-122.

  • Campbell Bruce A. 1980. A Theoretical Approach to Peer Influence in Adolescent Socialization. American Journal of Political Science 24(2): 324-344.

  • Crul Maurice and Jens Schneider. 2010. Comparative Context Integration Theory. Participation and in Belonging in Europe’s Large Cities. Ethnic and Racial Studies 34(4): 1249-1268.

  • Crul Maurice Jens Schneider and Frans Lelie. 2012. The European Second Generation Compared: Does the Integration Context Matter? Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

  • Crul Maurice Philipp Schnell Barbara Herzog-Punzenberger Maren Wilmes Marieke Slootman and Rosa Aparicio-Gomez. 2012. School Careers of Second-Generation Youth in Europe. Which Education Systems Provide the Best Chances for Success? Pp. 101-164 in The European Second Generation compared: Does the Integration Context Matter? edited by Maurice Crul Jens Schneider and Frans Lelie. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

  • Duncan Greg J. Johanne Boisjoly and Kathleen. M. Harris. 2001. Sibling Peer Neighbor and Schoolmate Correlations as Indicators of the Importance of Context for Adolescent Development. Demography 38(3): 437-447.

  • Erikson Robert John H. Goldthorpe and Lucianne Portocarero. 1979. Intergenerational Class Mobility in Three Western European Societies: England France and Sweden. British Journal of Sociology 30: 415-430.

  • Eurostat. 2013a. Elèves dans la filière professionnelle de l’enseignement secondaire supérieur. Data.

  • Eurostat http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&plugin=1&language=fr&pcode=tps00055 (27.11.2013).

  • Eurostat. 2013b. Expenditure on education as % of GDP or public expenditure. Data. Eurostat http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do (27.11.2013).

  • Fibbi Rosita Mathias Lerch and Philippe Wanner. 2006. Unemployment and Discrimination against Youth of Immigrant Origin in Switzerland: When the Name Makes the Difference. Journal of International Migration and Integration 7(3): 351-366.

  • Fibbi Rosita Ceren Topgül Dusan Ugrina and Philippe Wanner. 2015. The New Second Generation: Youth of Turkish and Former Yugoslav Descent in Zurich and Basel. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

  • Gaupp Nora Boris Geier and Sandra Hupka-Brunner. 2012. Chancen bildungsbenachteiligter junger Erwachsener in der Schweiz und in Deutschland: Die (Nicht)Bewältigung der zweiten Schwelle. Zeitschrift für Soziologie der Erziehung und Sozialisation 32(3): 299-318.

  • Gibson Margret A. Patricia. Gándara and Jill Peterson Koyama. 2004. The Role of Peers in the Schooling of U.S. Mexican Youth. Pp. 1-17 in School Connections: U.S. Mexican Youth Peers and School Achievement edited by Magret A. Gibson Patricia Gándara and Jill Peterson Koyama. New York: Teachers College Press.

  • Glick Jennifer E. and Michael J. White. 2003. Academic Trajectories of Immigrant Youths: Analysis Within and Across Cohorts. Demography 40(4): 759-783.

  • Gomez-Salvador Ramon and Nadine Leiner-Killinger. 2008. An Analysis of Youth Unemployment in the Euro Area. Occasional Paper Series European Central Bank 89.

  • Gomolla Mechtild and Frank-Olaf Radtke. 2000. Mechanismen institutionalisierter Diskriminierung in der Schule. Pp. 321-341 in Migration gesellschaftliche Differenzierung und Bildung. Resultate des Forschungsschwerpunktprogramms FABER edited by Ingrid Gogolin and Bernhard Nauck. Wiesbanden: Springer VS.

  • Groenewold George and Laurence Lessard-Phillips. 2012. Research Methodology. Pp. 39-58 in The European Second Generation Compared: Does the Integration Context Matter? edited by Maurice Crul Jens Schneider and Frans Lelie. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

  • Groh-Samberg Olaf Ariane Jossin Carsten Keller and Ingrid Tucci. 2012. Biographische Drifts und Zweite Chance. Bildungs- und Berufsverläufe von Migrantennachkommen in Deutschland und Frankreich. Pp. 186-210 in Soziologische Bildungsforschung Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozial Psychologie Sonderheft 52 edited by Heike Solga and Rolf Becker. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

  • Hao Lingxin and Suet-Ling Pong. 2008. The Role of School in the Upward Mobility of Disadvantaged Immigrants’ Children. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 620(1): 62-89.

  • Heath Anthony F. and Yaël Brinbaum (Eds.). 2014. Unequal Attainments. Ethnic Educational Inequalities in Ten Western Countries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Herzog-Punzenberger Barbara. 2003. Ethnic Segmentation in School and Labour Market - 40 Year Legacy of Austrian Guest Worker Policy. International Migration Review 37(4): 1120-1144.

  • Hupka-Brunner Sandra Thomas Meyer Barbara E. Stalder and Anita C. Keller. 2012. Übergänge im Spannungsfeld zwischen sozialer Herkunft Leistung und Strukturen des Bildungssystems. Pp. 203-220 in Bildung - Arbeit - Erwachsenwerden. Ein interdisziplinärer Blick auf die Transition im Jugend und jungen Erwachsenenalter edited by Manfred M. Bergman Sandra Hupka-Brunner Thomas Meyer and Robin Samuel. Wiesbaden: Springer VS Verlag.

  • Juhasz Anne and Eva Mey. 2003. Die zweite Generation: Etablierte oder Außenseiter? Biographien von Jugendlichen ausländischer Herkunft. Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag.

  • Kanas Agnieszka Frank Van Tubergen and Tanja Van der Lippe. 2011. The Role of Social Contacts in the Employment Status of Immigrants A Panel Study of Immigrants in Germany. International Sociology 26(1): 95-122.

  • Kao Grace. 2001. Race and Ethnic Differences in Peer Influences on Educational Achievement. Pp. 437-460 in The Problem of the Century: Racial Stratification in the U.S. at the Millenium edited by Douglas S. Massey and Elijah Anderson. New York: Russell Sage.

  • Kao Grace and Lindsay T. Rutherford. 2007. Does Social Capital Still Matter? Immigrant Minority Disadvantages in School-specific Social Capital and its Effort on Academic Achievement. Sociological Perspectives 50(1): 27-52.

  • Kasinitz Philip John H. Mollenkopf Mary C. Waters and Jennifer Holdaway. 2008. Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age. New York: Russell Sage Foundation and Harvard University Press.

  • Kolenikov Stanislav and Gustavo Angeles. 2009. Socioeconomic Status Measurement with Discrete Proxy Variables: Is Principal Component Analysis a Reliable Answer? Review of Income and Wealth 55(1): 128-165.

  • Kronig Winfried. 2007. Die systematische Zufälligkeit des Bildungserfolgs. Bern: Haupt Verlag.

  • Laganà Francesco Julien Chevillard and Jacques-Antoine Gauthier. 2014. Socio-economic Background and Early Post-compulsory Education Pathways: A Comparison between Natives and Second- Generation Immigrants in Switzerland. European Sociological Review 30(1): 18-34.

  • Loury Glenn. 2002. The Anatomy of Racial Equality. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Meyer Thomas. 2003. Parcours vers les formations postobligatoires. Les deux premières années après l’école obligatoire. Résultats intermédiaires de l’étude longitudinale TREE. Neuchâtel: Swiss Federal Statistical Office.

  • Mood Carina. 2010. Logistic Regression: Why We Cannot Do What We Think We Can Do and What We Can Do About It. European Sociological Review 26(1): 67-82.

  • Nations Unies. 2008. Indicateurs des objectifs du millénaire pour le développement. http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Host.aspx?Content=indicators/officiallist.htm (30.06.2015).

  • OECD. 2012. Employment Outlook 2012. Paris: OECD Publishing.

  • Pfeffer Fabian T. 2008. Persistent Inequality in Educational Attainment and Its Institutional Context. European Sociological Review 24(5): 543-565.

  • Portes Alejandro and Ruben G. Rumbaut. 2001. Legacies. The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

  • Ravecca Andrea. 2009. Studiare nonostante. Capitale sociale e successo scolastico degli studenti di origine immigrata nella scuola superiore. Milano: Franco Angeli.

  • Relikowski Ilona Erbil Yilmaz and Peter Blossfeld. 2012. Wie lassen sich die hohen Bildungsaspirationen von Migranten erklären? Eine Mixed-Methods-Studie zur Rolle von strukturellen Aufstiegschancen und individueller Bildungserfahrung. Pp. 111-136 in Soziologische Bildungsforschung Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozial Psychologie Sonderheft 52 edited by Heike Solga and Rolf Becker. Wiesbaden: Springer VS Verlag.

  • Romans Fabrice and Vivian Preclin. 2008. European Union Labour Force Survey - Annual results 2007. Eurostat Data en Focus 27.

  • Rosenbaum James E. Stefanie DeLuca Shazia R Miller and Kevin Roy. 1999. Pathways into Work: Shortand Long-Term Effects of Personal and Institutional Ties. Sociology of Education 72(3): 179-196.

  • Royston Patrick. 2004. Multiple Imputation of Missing Values. Stata Journal 4: 227-241.

  • Santelli Emannuelle. 2013. Upward Social Mobility among Franco-Algerians. The Role of Family Transmission. Swiss Journal of Sociology 39(3): 551-573.

  • Schnell Philipp. 2014. Educational Mobility of Second-Generation Turks. Cross-National Perspectives. IMISCOE Research. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

  • Schnell Philipp and Rosita Fibbi. 2015. Getting Ahead: Educational and Occupational Trajectories of the “New” Second Generation in Switzerland. Journal of International Migration and Integration http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12134-015-0452-y (30.06.2015).

  • Sievers Wiebke Ilker Atac and Philipp Schnell. 2014. Turkish Migrants and Their Descendants in Austria: Patterns of Exclusion and Individual and Political Responses. Migration Letters 11(3): 263-274.

  • Simon Patrick. 2012. Collecting Ethnic Statistics in Europe: A Review. Ethnic and Racial Studies 35(8): 1366-1391.

  • SKBF. 2014. Swiss Education Report. Aarau: SKBF-CSRE.

  • Skrobanek Jan. 2014. Ethnisierung von Ungleichheit. Disparitäten Benachteiligungswahrnehmung und Selbstethnisierungsprozesse im Übergang Schule - Ausbildung. Weinheim Basel: Beltz Juventa.

  • Stamm Magrit. 2013. Typen ausbildungserfolgreicher Migranten. Zeitschrift für Berufs- und Wirtschaftspädagogik 109(2): 216-231.

  • Stanton-Salazar Ricardo D. 2001. Manufacturing Hope and Despair: The School and Kin Support Networks of U.S.-Mexican Youth. New York: Teachers College Press.

  • Turney Kristin and Grace Kao. 2009. Barriers to School Involvement: Are Immigrant Parents Disadvantaged? The Journal of Educational Research 102(4): 257-271.

  • van de Werfhorst Herman G. Erika van Elsas and Anthony F. Heath. 2014. Origin and Destination Effects on the Educational Careers of Second-Generation Minorities. Pp. 245-271 in Unequal Attainments. Ethnic Educational Inequalities in Ten Western Countries edited by Anthony F. Heath and Yaël Brinbaum. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.24

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.141
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.087

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 299 109 4
PDF Downloads 145 73 0