A3 Focus Groups of Societal Integration: Migration and Ethnic Minorities

Immigrants and their descendants represent a growing share of the population in Europe. Their social integration into increasingly heterogeneous societies is seen as a major societal challenge. There is much evidence that the integration of immigrants and their descendants is lagging behind, with structural disadvantages, social segmentation and cultural differences being the major restraining forces. However, there are also patterns of success among some ethnic groups in some countries. This variation in group-specific and country-specific outcomes needs explanation; yet, we still lack understanding of the exact mechanisms behind the differentiated processes of intergenerational integration and their complex causal interplay.

These research gaps are due partly to insufficient theoretical understanding, partly to a lack of adequate data. On the theoretical level, projects in Area A3 rely on an elaborated resource-investment approach as a common integrative framework. On the empirical level, longitudinal information at the micro-level is employed to disentangle causal relationships between different subdimensions of integration, e.g. between structural, social, and cultural aspects of integration.

Projects in Research Area A3 study the conditions and mechanisms of minority ethnic groups’ intergenerational integration, focusing on different aspects of integration and on different stages over the life course. Apart from analysing publicly available large-scale quantitative data, many projects in this area collect and analyse their own data.