“We will start building from that”: Social capital, social networks and African migrants’ job-seeking experiences in Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Social Issues, 2022, 57, (3), pp. 725-742
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
This article explores the job-seeking experiences of Black African migrants in South Australia, focussing on the role played by social networks in labour market integration. While it has been long held that “who you know” matters when finding work, the quality and nature of interpersonal connections that can be put to use for job-seeking purposes suggests that not all networks effectively leverage social capital when it comes to employment. This article argues that Africa-born migrants in South Australia are a small, diverse population whose experiences of labour market integration are mediated by both reception (how they are received and perceived) and strategy and choice (decisions made by migrants themselves). There is evidence of these migrants’ evolving and expanding social networks; however, the strategy of building the “right” social networks only goes part-way to addressing employment gaps, while racialised social hierarchies are embedded in the Australian labour market.
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