Female Migrants’ Experiences of Labour Market ‘Integration’ in Denmark

Michelle Pace*, Katrine Sofie Bruun Bennetzen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter explores the role of gender in migrants’ efforts at integrating into the labour market in Denmark. Numerous academic works argue that the experience of integration (and migration) is qualitatively different for men and women. They conclude that gender plays a critical role in the pre-migration stage, in how men and women transition across state boundaries and, most significantly, in determining the way integration bureaucracies are experienced in host societies. Such studies demonstrate that the experience of integration is gendered and often to the detriment of women. But can the experience of women also be generalisable and reveal the foundational nature and logics of a host country’s integration regime? To answer this question, the chapter empirically focuses on the biographical accounts of female migrants in Denmark and their experiences of labour market integration (LMI). Since most holders of family reunification visas in Denmark are women, their experiences confirm the extant literature’s claim that migration is a gendered process. In addition, we argue that the nature of their experiences of LMI in Denmark also reflects the foundational character of the Danish integration regime. The biographical accounts of our female narrators are analysed through the scope of turning points – as path-altering events – in their integration narratives and associated epiphanies, that is, revelations or apprehensions triggered by turning points.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImmigrant and Asylum Seekers Labour Market Integration upon Arrival: NowHereLand : A Biographical Perspective
EditorsIrina Isaakyan, Anna Triandafyllidou, Simone Baglioni
Number of pages26
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)9783031140082 (hbk), 9783031140112 (pbk)
ISBN (Electronic)9783031140099
Publication statusPublished - 2023
SeriesIMISCOE Research Series


  • Denmark
  • female migrants
  • labour market
  • integration
  • Integration and immigration policies
  • temporary protection status
  • legal barriers to migrants integration
  • biographies
  • narrative research

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