Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Professionals Made in Germany: Employing a Turkish Migration Background in High-Status Positions

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Abstract:  This article emphasises the experiences of the prospective elite among the second generation in Germany by analysing empirical data collected through in-depth interviews across three occupational fields (law, education and corporate business). In spite of their disadvantaged background, some children of lower educated migrant parents from Turkey managed to occupy prestigious leadership positions. Many use their ethnic capital in creative and strategic ways to seek opportunities and obtain access to leading positions. They are now embracing new professional roles and have moved into new social circles due to their steep upward mobility. However, they still have to contend with the fact that their individual mobility stands in contrast to the low-status of the group to which they belong.

Keywords:  ethnic capital; occupational achievement; professional identity; second generation; social disadvantage; social mobility



© Ali Konyali, Maurie Crul. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.