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This chapter reviews the historical and political context of immigration to Norway, patterns of ethnic inequality in the labour market, as well as how ethnic discrimination has been legislated, publically debated and studied in the Norwegian context. Drawing on the findings of a multimethod study of discrimination in the Norwegian labour market, combining a field experiment with employer-interviews, the chapter furthermore clarifies the extent of discrimination in ethnic minority applicants’ access to the labour market and discusses what mechanisms influence the level of ethnic discrimination ‘at work’. The field experiment reveals that young Norwegians of Pakistani heritage – the by far largest group among immigrant descendants in the country – face substantial discrimination when applying for work. However, it also demonstrates striking differences in the scope of discrimination between the public and the private sector, as well as across occupational contexts, indicating that discrimination should not be seen as mere reflections of individual bias, ethnic preferences or statistical uncertainty, but rather that such individual-level dispositions are mediated through factors at the organizational level. This conclusion has important implications for our theoretical understanding of why discrimination occurs, as well as for the further development of anti-discrimination measures.
On the theoretical level, this chapter examines the mechanisms through which cultural and financial capital affects educational outcomes in different institutional…
On the theoretical level, this chapter examines the mechanisms through which cultural and financial capital affects educational outcomes in different institutional contexts. On the methodological level, the central question in this chapter is how to resolve concerns in comparative analyses of educational attainment, such as variations in enrolment rates and study program duration across institutional settings. On the empirical level, the chapter asks whether family background predicts educational attainment in similar ways in two diametrically opposed welfare states: the United States and Norway. Differences in dropout from higher education were compared using nationally representative longitudinal data from the United States and Norway and event history and multilevel modelling techniques. The chapter also makes use of the standardized sheaf coefficient to summarize central background variables for more direct comparison of effect sizes. The findings show that whereas parents’ education level has strikingly similar effects on students’ dropout probabilities in the two countries, the effect of parents’ income varies substantially according to the institutional context. The chapter concludes that in comparative analyses of inequality in education the value of different types of family resources must be understood in light of the concrete, practical constraints of the national institutional contexts.