Home Institution

Franklin and Marshall College

Publication Date

Summer 2019

Program Name

Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender


This research study analyzes the impact of public narratives in The Netherlands upon the individual narratives of second-generation migrant women in the labor force. Viewing narratives as on one hand, symbolic and rhetorical, and on the other hand, as pragmatic and structural, I attempt to draw a correlation between public narratives and individual narrative production, arguing that discourses and practices of discrimination originate—and often intensify—through the relationship between these two narrative modes. I hypothesize the ways in which both migrant and native Dutch narratives currently challenge, but also have the potential to challenge, this dually-produced and dually-reinforced discrimination narrative. Correspondingly, I develop a theoretical notion of “narrative agency” as a tool to acknowledge subjectivity and counteract this compounded discrimination narrative and its constraints over identity formation. My research promotes this discussion through a test-case of second-generation migrant women in their workplace environments. As often politicized policy objects, they exemplify a narrative construction between symbolic, political significance and structural measures. Through my theoretical lens, I thus attempt to build a framework for subjective narrative potential within these overarching narrative influences; significantly, it is a means to recognize a marginalized identity outside of their object value within the contemporary Dutch socio-political culture.


Dutch Studies | European History | Labor History | Migration Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Women's History | Women's Studies


Article Location