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    Refugees’ narratives of career barriers and professional identity

    MacKenzie Davey, Kate and Jones, C. (2020) Refugees’ narratives of career barriers and professional identity. Career Development International 25 (1), pp. 49-66. ISSN 1362-0436.

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    Purpose: This paper examines how refugees from a professional career domain restore a coherent narrative when confronting barriers to recognition of their former career status. It focuses in particular on the identity work in which they engage in order to reconcile tensions between their current status as refugees and their professional identity. Design/method/approach: Fifteen refugees to the UK who were professionally qualified in medicine or teaching in their country of origin took part in interviews or focus groups exploring career barriers, plans and future aspirations. Initial inductive thematic analysis identified recognition of professional identities as a primary concern. Further analytic iterations between theory and empirical material sharpened the focus on identifying the tensions in their professional identity work. Findings: Participants struggled both to restore their former professional identity and to develop alternative identities. Professional identity work limited, but also sustained them in the face of barriers they encountered as refugees. Practical implications: More support for refugee career development would facilitate adaptation to local job markets, thereby addressing gaps in Education and Health services in the UK. Originality value: Highlights the tensions in refugee professional identity work and particularly the challenges and rewards of professional identification in the face of employment barriers.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): refugees,professional identity, career barriers, narrative
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Kate Mackenzie-Davey
    Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2019 14:07
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:50


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