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Completed project

Pathways to Integration: The Second Generation in Education and Work in Norway

Project period 2015 - 2018
Project employer The Research Council of Norway
Project nr. 10112
Project leader Arnfinn H. Midtbøen

Project Aim

What pathways to integration characterise the transition from education to work among descendants of immigrants in Norway? Are they socially isolated and incorporated into marginalized sectors of the economy? Or are their achievements in education translated into relevant work and prominent positions in social life, contributing to a ‘remaking’ of mainstream society, in which ethnic background will play a less significant role in determining individual life chances in the future?

In this project, an interdisciplinary team of sociologists, economists and anthropologists will use both quantitative and qualitative data to explore the dynamics of generational change, focusing on the pathways to integration experienced by male and female descendants of immigrants in Norway.

Project Approach

The project has four closely related subprojects. First, we will investigate whether the immigrant parents’ success or failure in the Norwegian labour market affect the labour market integration of the second generation.

Second, we will study the extent to which descendants of immigrants’ efforts in the educational sector is transferred into relevant work, and how family obligations and transnational marriages affect employment patterns of second generation men and women.

Third, we will explore whether an elite of descendants of immigrants is in the making, by conducting comprehensive qualitative case studies among students in medicine, law and economics, as well as among lawyers, doctors and economists that have managed to gain positions in the labour market. Fourth, we will study descendants of immigrants enrolled in vocational education, following 1) those who invest in more education, 2) those who end up working in vocational professions, and 3) those who are tracked into less privileged positions or even into permanent positions outside the labour market. The project will provide new and highly policy-relevant knowledge about the processes of integration and ultimately on the long-term effects of migration on the Norwegian society.

The third subproject is part of an ongoing, comparative study of elite formation among descendants of immigrants in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and the US. This project,ELITES: Pathways to Success, is led by Professor Maurice Crul at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Professor Crul is also part of the Norwegian project’s international advisory board, along with Professor Richard Alba from the Graduate Centre at the City University of New York and Dr. Katharine Charsley from the University of Bristol.

In the media

Seminar: See the live stream from the seminar Pathways to Integration, held in english (, November 15, 2018.


Ragni Hege Kitterød Dr. polit. Research Professor +47 950 50 375 Send e-mail
Hilde Lidén Dr. polit. Research Professor +47 951 23 660 Send e-mail
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
Marianne Røed Dr. polit. Research Professor +47 480 39 594 Send e-mail
Pål Schøne PhD Research Professor +47 986 22 125 Send e-mail
Janis Umblijs PhD Senior Research Fellow +47 925 27 810 Send e-mail
Jørn Ljunggren
Sahra Ali Abdullahi Torjussen


  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen & Nadim, Marjan (2022). Becoming Elite in an Egalitarian Context: Pathways to Law and Medicine Among Norway’s Second-Generation. In Jens, Schneider; Crul, Maurice & Pott, Andreas (Ed.), New Social Mobility: Second Generation Pioneers in Europe. Springer. p. 133–152. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-05566-9_6.
  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen & Nadim, Marjan (2021). Navigating to the Top in an Egalitarian Welfare State: Institutional Opportunity Structures of Second-generation Social Mobility. International Migration Review. 56(1), p. 97–122. doi: 10.1177/01979183211014829. Full text in Research Archive
  • Ljunggren, Jørn & Orupabo, Julia (2020). Moving beyond: narratives of higher educational aspirations among descendants of immigrants in vocational training. British Journal of Sociology of Education. 41(5), p. 701–716. doi: 10.1080/01425692.2020.1776593. Full text in Research Archive
  • Kitterød, Ragni Hege & Nadim, Marjan (2020). Embracing gender equality: Gender-role attitudes among secondgeneration immigrants in Norway. Demographic Research. 42, p. 411–440. doi: 10.4054/DemRes.2020.42.14. Full text in Research Archive
  • Cools, Sara & Schøne, Pål (2019). Overgang fra utdanning til arbeid blant høyt utdannede etterkommere av innvandrere. Tidsskrift for samfunnsforskning. 60(2), p. 140–165. doi: 10.18261/issn.1504-291X-2019-02-02. Full text in Research Archive
  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen & Kitterød, Ragni Hege (2019). Beskytter assimilering mot diskriminering? Opplevd diskriminering blant innvandrere og etterkommere av innvandrere i det norske arbeidslivet. Norsk sosiologisk tidsskrift. 3(5), p. 353–371. doi: 10.18261/issn.2535-2512-2019-05-04. Full text in Research Archive
  • Quillian, Lincoln; Heath, Anthony; Pager, Devah; Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen; Fleischmann, Fenella & Hexel, Ole (2019). Do Some Countries Discriminate More than Others? Evidence from 97 Field Experiments of Racial Discrimination in Hiring. Sociological Science. 6, p. 467–496. doi: 10.15195/V6.A18. Full text in Research Archive
  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen & Nadim, Marjan (2019). Ethnic niche formation at the top? Second-generation immigrants in Norwegian high-status occupations. Ethnic and Racial Studies. 42(16), p. 177–195. doi: 10.1080/01419870.2019.1638954. Full text in Research Archive
  • Nadim, Marjan (2017). Familien som ressurs eller hinder? Etterkommerkvinners deltagelse i arbeid. Norsk sosiologisk tidsskrift. 1(1), p. 35–52. doi: 10.18261/issn.2535-2512-2017-01-03. Full text in Research Archive
  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen (2017). Innvandringshistorie som faghistorie: Kontroverser i norsk migrasjonsforskning. Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift. 34(2), p. 130–149. Full text in Research Archive
  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen (2016). The making and unmaking of ethnic boundaries in the public sphere: The case of Norway. Ethnicities. 18(3), p. 344–362. doi: 10.1177/1468796816684149. Full text in Research Archive

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  • Korbøl, Aud & Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen (2018). Den kritiske fase. Innvandring til Norge fra Pakistan 1970-1973. Universitetsforlaget. 328 p.

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  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen (2019). Etterkommere av innvandrere i Norge: Mobilitet, assimilering, diskriminering. Institutt for samfunnsforskning. Full text in Research Archive

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  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen (2021). Strukturell rasisme i en strukturelt inkluderende velferdsstat? Tidsskrift for samfunnsforskning. 62(1), p. 106–115. doi: 10.18261/ISSN.1504-291X-2021-01-09.
  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen (2021). Strukturell rasisme på norsk. Klassekampen.
  • Orupabo, Julia & Ljunggren, Jørn (2020). Yrkesfag – en alternativ vei til integrering. Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.).
  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen (2019). Utdanning og arbeid: Etterkommere av innvandrere dominerer både topp og bunn. Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.).
  • Cools, Sara & Schøne, Pål (2019). Utdanningssted forklarer ulikhet på toppen av yrkeshierarkiet. Dagens næringsliv.
  • Quillian, Lincoln & Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen (2019). Do Some Countries Discriminate More than Others? NCCR on the move - blog.
  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen (2018). Innvandringsforskningen som ble lagt bort. Morgenbladet.
  • Kitterød, Ragni Hege (2018). En symmetrisk familiemodell - en selvfølge blant unge etterkommere? .
  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen (2017). Innvandringshistorie som faghistorie: Kontroverser i norsk migrasjonsforskning.
  • Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen (2017). Et innvandringsparadoks? Morgenbladet.

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Tags: Working Life, Gender Equality, Migration
Published Aug. 10, 2015 2:24 PM - Last modified Feb. 18, 2020 10:00 AM