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Ongoing project

Gender, immigration and job polarization in the Norwegian care-sector

Project period 2020 - 2021

Gender, immigration and job polarization in the Norwegian care-sector

In this study, an interdisciplinary team of sociologists and economists will contribute to the literature on job polarization by exploring patterns of gender and ethnic segregation in the Norwegian care sector. We ask how immigrants have influenced patterns of gender segregation in care work in the Norwegian labour market. Are immigrants concentrated in the bad care work jobs, whilst natives occupy the good care work jobs? Furthermore, previous research have argued that processes of gender desegregation must be seen in relation to the influx of immigrant men in traditionally female‐dominated, low‐skilled work. Following this line of reasoning, we will examine whether processes of gender desegregation play out differently in low-skilled and high-skilled care work.

This study is a contribution to the understanding of how migration can create new dynamics of polarization in a gender-segregated labour market. Most prior research on care work emphasizes the suppressed compensation of all care work jobs across skill, yet care work encompasses a range of jobs, which are differently positioned in the occupational hierarchy. Previous research from the US finds that immigrants and racial minorities are concentrated in the worst care work jobs, in terms of wage levels and status, while the best care work jobs are concentrated among white women and men. Thus, it is pertinent to distinguish between different types of care work in order to grasp processes of polarization and segregation in care work. Using Norwegian administrative register data for the period 2003–2017, we examine the significance of immigration and immigrants on gender segregation.


Marjan Nadim PhD Research Professor +47 916 09 108 Send e-mail
Julia Orupabo PhD Senior Research Fellow +47 976 66 787 Send e-mail
Kjersti Misje Østbakken PhD Research Director, Work and Welfare +47 991 62 556 Send e-mail
Published Jan. 20, 2020 9:05 AM - Last modified Jan. 20, 2020 9:24 AM