Migration for welfare (WELLMIG) Nurses within three regimes of immigration and integration into the Norwegian welfare state

About the project

WELLMIG brings together the perspectives that migrants not only depend on, but also make significant contributions to the welfare state.

On the one hand, nurses – male and female – with education from their countries of origin contribute directly to the institutions of a Norwegian welfare state in need of hands to take care of an aging population. On the other hand, they also gain rights of access to benefits and welfare provisions. The combination of these two aspects brings to centre stage some of the dilemmas that arise when the welfare state encounters the globalisation of labour.

We will study the different pathways of Polish, Swedish and Filipino nurses into the Norwegian labour market and society, examining the impact of mobility regimes on migrants’ lives. Comparing Scandinavian, EU, and non-EU migrants, we explore how and when migration, gender, race and ethnicity matter, and bring together regimes of immigration and integration in a mutually informative way. The comparison offers the opportunity to examine the impact of these regimes on migrants’ integration into work and society in Norway.

The project also expands the concept of work-life balance across the life course and takes into account transnational lives. We plan for consistency and comparison across different fieldwork sites. Our methodology comprises mixed methods and multi-sited fieldwork, including fieldwork in sending states.

While the issue of nurse migration is highly policy relevant, it raises theoretical questions of central concern to the social sciences, regarding the mutual relations between individuals and structures, between the transnational and the national, and between dimensions of power, identity, equality and difference. Applying an intersectional perspective on gender, migrancy and class, we study how immigration and integration policies are shaped and interplay, and how they affect migrants’ choices and experiences.

Project leader: Marie Louise Seeberg, NOVA, OsloMet

Project period: winter 2016 to autumn 2020.

The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway as an Independent project (FRIPRO)