Ioanna Blasko is currently a PhD candidate at the Department of Human Geography at Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research interests include the meaning of 'integration', highly skilled refugee integration, and labour market and workplace inclusion. Her dissertation uses qualitative methods to examine the workplace and labour market integration of highly skilled refugees in Sweden, with case studies on engineers with a refugee background.
- Department of Human Geography, Uppsala University
Profile according to FFVT taxonomy
Fields of research
Academic education / CV
PhD candidate in Human Geography. Uppsala University, Sweden (2020-current).
MA in Modern Languages. Uppsala University, Sweden (2014-2018).
Scottish MA in Modern Languages. University of St. Andrews, Scotland (2010-2014).
Q1. Who are you?
My name is Ioanna Blasko and I am a PhD candidate in human geography at Uppsala University, Sweden. My research focus is the labour market and workplace ‚integration‘ of highly skilled refugees in Sweden. Through qualitative methods, I examine the opportunities and constraints they face when entering the labour market and at workplaces in Sweden.
Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?
I was drawn to the fellowship because of the opportunity to exchange knowledge and research expertise with scholars and practitioners in Germany and abroad doing work on migration-related topics in various fields. I also admire German scholars for their theoretical rigour, and am looking forward to theoretical exchanges as well.
Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?
I expect to meet many new, interesting people whose ideas I will be inspired by and whom I hopefully will work with in the future. I also expect critical, constructive comments on my own work, which will help me improve and think through my research.
Q4. What is the focus of your work, and what is innovative about it? / What are your planned outcomes and activities for the fellowship period? And how do they relate to your FFVT hosting institution/ the FFVT cooperation project?
The focus of my work is on inclusion into the labour market, and at the workplace itself, for people with a refugee background. The project includes interviews and workplace observations with refugee engineers, which are an underrepresented group in the migration literature. Moreover, part of the project looks at integration at the workplace itself. I aim to go beyond the frequently occurring idea that (labour market) ‘integration’ is something which is achieved simply through obtaining employment, and is something which specifically migrants have the responsibility to “do”.
During my fellowship I plan to finish the first complete draft of my thesis and finalise my theoretical understandings of, among other things, structure and agency. IMIS is particularly suited to my research since it hosts and has hosted several research projects in respect to the theme of forced migration and refugee agency. I am looking forward to interesting exchanges while here.