Female Migrants Entrepreneurs and Their Social Mobility

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 14:42
Oral Presentation
Petra DANNECKER, University of Vienna, Austria

Female Migrants Entrepreneurs and their Social Mobility

Petra Dannecker

In this paper the connection between spatial and social mobility will be discussed and analyzed. Drawing upon phenomenological concepts (Schütz 1971, Schütz and Luckmann 1979) it will be shown how female ‘migrant’ entrepreneurs in Vienna experience, rationalise and ‘use’ their spatial mobility not only as a resource and a marker of difference but as an important qualification and a means for social mobility, structuring their everyday practices, economic activities, social interactions and subjectivities. The interface between the ‘moving out’ (spatial mobility) and the ‘moving up’ (social mobility) is experienced and derives meaning from the special embeddedness of the female migrant entrepreneurs within the society and has, as the empirical data consisting of qualitative interviews with female migrant entrepreneurs shows, to be permanently negotiated. Thereby especially the gendered meaning of social mobility will be focused on showing that the costs and benefits of their social mobility can only be understood by taking the different social fields and the complex social configurations they are confronted with into account. The chosen actor oriented approach allows not only scrutinizing how the female migrant entrepreneurs define and experience their social mobility but also how their social mobility through their economic activities is perceived by different actors, like the families, the ‘ethnic’ community or the so-called local society, as a challenge to the constructed images or perceived social positions of female migrants.