Turning Disadvantage into Advantage: Achievement Narratives of Descendants of Migrants from Turkey in the Corporate Business Sector

by Ali Konyali (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

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While researchers have often studied descendants of migrants in terms of their educational and occupational shortcomings, there is a lack of studies on an emerging group of professionals with exceptional achievements. Drawing on data collected through semi-structured, in-depth interviews in Frankfurt am Main, Paris and Stockholm with business professionals whose parents migrated from Turkey, this article explores how they present their stories within the framework of struggle and success, while they try to avoid victimization. Their narratives emphasize the benefits of being exceptional and different in the competitive context of the corporate business sector, with its emphasis on innovative performance. In the face of group disadvantage, they differentiate themselves from other descendants of migrants from Turkey (with less successful careers) by stressing the role of personal characteristics and individual achievements. This is a common feature in the respondents’ narratives in all three sites.

Keywords: descendants of migrants, corporate business professionals, occupational achievement, narratives, group disadvantage

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:
Konyali, A. (2014). Turning Disadvantage into Advantage: Achievement Narratives of Descendants of Migrants from Turkey in the Corporate Business Sector. New Diversities, 16(1), 107-121. Retrieved [todaysdate] from http://newdiversities.mmg.mpg.de/?page_id=1793
16-01_CoverNew Diversities • Volume 16, No. 1, 2014
Social Mobility and Identity Formation
Guest Editors: Jens Schneider (University of Osnabrück) and Maurice Crul (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
ISSN-Print 2199-8108
ISSN-Internet 2199-8116