Starting out: New migrants' socio-cultural integration trajectories in four European destinations
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SourceEthnicities, 16, 2, (2016), pp. 157-179
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
SubjectInequality Cohesion Rationalization; Ongelijkheid Cohesie Rationalisatie
Migration trends are highly dynamic and the recent period has seen a transformation of migration to Europe. Studies of existing migrant stocks provide only limited information on these new migration flows and their implications for receiving societies. In the Norface-funded SCIP project (Socio-cultural integration processes among New Immigrants in Europe'), about 8000 recent migrants to four European destinations were surveyed soon after their arrival with many re-interviewed about 1.5 years later. The goal of the project was to obtain a more complete picture of integration processes in Europe and of the role of individual traits, group characteristics and reception contexts. SCIP data shed light on a highly dynamic phase in migrants' integration that has important implications for what happens later in the adaptation process. Furthermore, these data reveal the extent to which differences in integration patterns are apparent from the very beginning of migrants' stay or evolve over time. The SCIP project is comparative on the group and country level and thus helps to clarify whether country-specific integration patterns reflect characteristics of host country institutions and their ethnic boundaries - or can be attributed to the particularities of the immigrants these countries attract. This special issue demonstrates the potential of the data for addressing such questions, fundamental to our understanding of current and future migrant integration by bringing together six articles that tackle migrants' early adaptation, for example their language acquisition, the role of religiosity in finding a job, group differences in identification and acculturation, and experiences of discrimination across contexts. It also gives an insight into some limitations of the data set, describes the methodological challenges and possibilities in using it, and aims to inspire further research based on this unique data source.
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