Improvement Strategies Among Pakistani Families in Denmark
Tracing life stories and family histories back to rural Punjab, I explore the development and processes of upward social mobility of the Pakistani community in Denmark from the 1960s onwards. I suggest that social mobility among Pakistani immigrants and their descendants must be seen as the outcome of a village-like immigrant community’s fierce competition for symbolic capital and recognition within the context of changing social and economic conditions in Denmark. While the Pakistani immigrants primarily found unskilled factory work during the 1960s and 1970s, the economic recession and restructuring of the Danish labour market during the late 1970s and 1980s pushed them into two different long-term strategies of money or education respectively. This created a split in the Pakistani community between educated and non-educated families and shaped the second generation’s way of life in terms of, for example, marriage arrangements or notions of identity and belonging.
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2011, Vol 37, Issue 2, p. 197-215