Constructies van sociale mobiliteit
Social mobility is almost always measured in
terms of income, job status or educational
attainment. When measured as such, Moroccan
first generation women in the Netherlands
are socially immobile. However, in the
narratives of the women collected during 1,5
years of qualitative study among 50 women
between the ages of 25 and 45, alternative
defitinitions and expectations of social mobility
surfaced. Acquiring better social positions
in formal definitions is not a goal that these
women can reach. However, learning Arabic,
learning how to read, moving to a better
house and emancipating from certain gender
norms, can be seen as forms of ‘moving up’.
Also, because these women cannot reach the
‘formal’ attainment goals, they want their
sons and daughters to gain a better position.
It is thus crucial to take alternative definitions
and expectations of social mobility into account
when studying groups like Moroccan
migrant women and the second generation.