‘Taking Ownership’: Language and Ethnicity in the Job Interview

  • Celia Roberts


In the globalized cities of the Western world, the number of qualified and experienced workers in low-paid insecure jobs is increasing. Minority ethnic groups are disproportionately represented in these jobs and in unemployment figures generally. The UK is no exception. There is a clear gap in employment rates between the white British majority and ethnic minorities (Department for Work and Pensions, 2005), and a study of London’s low-paid workers, enduring the poorest conditions, found that 90 per cent were migrants (Evans et al., 2005). This is a stark illustration of the marginalization of migrant and minority ethnic groups within the two-tiered labour market. The higher tier represents the better-paid, more secure jobs with better working conditions and often the protection of trade unions and pension schemes. The lowertier jobs such as cleaning jobs, care work and rubbish collecting have no such advantages.


Narrative Structure Minority Ethnic Group Competency Framework Repetitive Work Star Structure 
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© Celia Roberts 2011

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  • Celia Roberts

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