A3 Focus Groups of Societal Integration: Migration and Integration

Immigrants and their descendants make up a large and growing proportion of the population in Europe. Their incorporation is widely seen as a litmus test of the integrative power of societies. Empirical evidence suggests that when looking at the integration of immigrants in many European countries, the prevailing picture is one of structural disadvantage, social segmentation, and cultural difference – often stunningly persistent over time and generations.

Studies also reveal, however, that there are interesting exceptions as well as patterns of success, and that puzzling differences do exist between integration domains, between ethnic groups, and between countries.
 To date, comparative research is far from being able to explain sufficiently all the domain-, group-, and country-differences that have been observed. Particularly lacking is an understanding of the more detailed mechanisms behind the differentiated processes of intergenerational integration and their complex causal interplay.
 The projects in this research area aim at closing this gap by studying different aspects of integration over different phases of the life-course, focusing on different ethnic groups and different country settings. They all basically rely on an elaborated resource-investment approach as a common and integrative theoretical framework. All projects rely on large-scale quantitative data to answer their key questions, and almost all employ longitudinal data.