Making friends with Norwegians takes too much time : the role of social capital in highly skilled temporary migrants’ aspirations and opportunities for citizenship enactment
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- Institutt for geografi 
In today’s globalizing world, low transport costs and ICT developments have led to a new migration setting with growing temporary migration, where migrants are temporary residents of host societies, while maintaining strong connections to friends and kin in their homeland. This has the potential of resulting in destination societies with increasing numbers of, especially highly skilled, temporary migrants with weak connections to the larger society. By applying the concept of social capital to active citizenship, the aim of this thesis is to understand the processes behind citizenship enactment among highly skilled temporary migrants, within the new migration context of temporariness and social media use. This was done by exploring the role of social capital in migrants’ aspirations and opportunities for citizenship enactment, and the research question which was answered and discussed was as follows: How is social capital connected to citizenship enactment among highly skilled temporary migrants? It was found that for these highly skilled temporary migrants, their search for social capital focused their citizenship enactment away from the Norwegian society. Social capital was found to act as a motivation for obtaining access to networks, and as a facilitator for access to networks. The ability to obtain social capital focused the migrants’ aspirations and opportunities for interaction, which again focused their participation, attachment and identity formation, or in other words, their citizenship enactment. The context of temporariness and social media contact with homeland networks combined to increase the migrants’ opportunities for social capital building from existing networks, and their aspirations for quick access to social capital, which again rendered access to Norwegian networks non-essential. Finally, a significant lack of social capital between Norwegians and highly skilled temporary migrants pushed the migrants’ citizenship enactment away from the Norwegian society.