In another exciting talk as part of our Interdisciplinary Migration Research Seminar Series, Assoc. Prof. Elisabeth Scheibelhofer (University of Vienna) presented on social inequalities and the challenges migrants face in welfare state institutions.
In today's diverse society, Austrian welfare state institutions still lag behind in terms of enabling equal access to the labour market, social benefits, and other factors indispensable for daily life in a society that should facilitate integration. As actors shaped by their contextual environment - in case of street-level bureaucrats the institutions they work for - a change for the better seems limited. There are several restrictions, especially in terms of language (German as a requirement, solid English skills not a bonus), with language competences manifesting themselves as a symbolic barrier. This leads to migrants being confronted with everyday discrimination and racism.
Striving towards equality is essential in today's super-diverse society. Only this way can the more than 60% of clients with migration background in the Austrian labour service (AMS) alone receive access to profession and daily life opportunities they aspire.