Sandra King-Savic examines how voluntary labor migrants and refugees position themselves within narratives of integration in Switzerland. What does integration mean for migrants, and how do those who experienced migration define integration? Crucially, how do narratives of integration differ between labor migrants and refugees, including their children? By extension, are there hierarchies of perceived ‘deservingness’ that separate labor migrants from refugees, and how do labor migrants and former refugees evaluate the arrival of new refugees in terms of possible competition for labor and social assistance? While voluntary and involuntary immigrants from the Western Balkans form the largest migratory group in Switzerland, the question of how these migrants define belonging in Switzerland has not yet been researched.
Sandra King-Savic is a postdoctoral fellow at the School for Social Sciences and Humanities, executive director at the Center for Govnerance and Culture in Europe, and lecturer at at the history department at the University of St. Gallen.