Reciprocity Within Migrant Networks: The Role of Social Support for Employment

Basak Bilecen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This chapter investigates the ways in which migrants’ perceive and mobilize their social relationships to enter into the labor market. Previous literature has ample evidence on the importance of social ties for migrants to find a job usually studying the received job information while underlining ethnicity of ties as if it is the only aspect that matters in the labor market. Going beyond those debates, this chapter argues that not only receiving information on jobs, but also being embedded in a supportive network in other realms such as care is equally significant in explaining the labor market positions of international migrants and their descendants. To this end, based on a qualitative personal network analysis with international migrants and migrant descendants from Turkey living in Germany, this chapter illustrates how such supportive resources are being exchanged in networks as well as their meanings for migrants’ labor market (non-)participation. After all, studying those migrants who found paid employment via their social ties is only one part of the explanation overlooking other factors such as support they receive or (expected to) give.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRevisiting Migrant Networks
Subtitle of host publicationMigrants and their Descendants in Labour Markets
EditorsElif Keskiner, Michael Eve, Louise Ryan
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-94972-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-94971-6, 978-3-030-94974-7
Publication statusPublished - 17-Mar-2022

Publication series

NameIMISCOE Research Series
ISSN (Print)2364-4087
ISSN (Electronic)2364-4095


  • qualitative personal network analysis
  • social support
  • labor market participation
  • employment
  • gender
  • reciprocity
  • international migration
  • Turkey
  • Germany

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