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Cultural Demands on Skilled Immigrants, A Devaluation of Human Capital: The case of immigrant physicians in Sweden

Authors:

Lisa Salmonsson ,

Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, SE
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Orlando Mella

Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, SE
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Abstract

The difficulties immigrant doctors encounter can be considered as an impediment to accessing skilful work, and are thus an indication of ethnic bias. Therefore the term “devaluation of human capital” is here used to analyze one case where schooling and/or licensure from other countries are less recognized. This study focuses on the case of immigrant doctors in Sweden and their difficulties in achieving similar status positions there as their Swedish counterparts. The study is based on a qualitative study of the Swedish medical journal over time and the aim was to broaden the understanding about how the skills of immigrant doctors are described in this context. Results show that, immigrant doctors in Sweden are constructed as assets when their language-skills are helpful in relation with immigrant patients. In this case the human capital of immigrant doctors is not devaluated, but often they are also considered as a threat to the ‘trustworthiness’ of the profession of doctors. Cultural authorization is a concept presented in this article that can help describing a profession’s way of re-evaluating immigrant professionals.
How to Cite: Salmonsson, L. and Mella, O., 2013. Cultural Demands on Skilled Immigrants, A Devaluation of Human Capital: The case of immigrant physicians in Sweden. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 3(1), pp.3–9. DOI: http://doi.org/10.2478/v10202-012-0008-6
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Published on 01 Mar 2013.
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