The integration of immigrants and their descendants across Europe: a multidimensional overview

Strain-Fajth, Veronika ORCID: 0000-0002-7536-8307 (2023). The integration of immigrants and their descendants across Europe: a multidimensional overview. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis aims to strengthen the state of European-level knowledge on the integration and well-being of immigrants and their descendants via helping to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of four key areas: (1) the concept of integration; (2) the multidimensionality of integration; (3) The relevance of immigrant parentage for the second generation; and (4) the role of the host country context in immigrant integration patterns. I address each of these four main knowledge gaps via four individual yet interconnected analyses. These consist, respectively, of a wide-ranging conceptual review and three quantitative studies using recent cross-European data (European Social Survey, 2012-2018) for a set of multidimensional analyses (observing indicators of economic, political, and social inclusion, as well as health and well-being). The first study examines the multidimensionality of integration via a factor analysis of 18 integration-related outcomes for first- and second-generation racial/ethnic minority immigrants across Europe (ESS7; N=1,066). The second study compares outcomes of second-generation immigrants and native-parentage natives along multiple dimensions, with a systematic analysis of parental class background, gender, and ethnic/racial minority status both alongside and intersected with migration background (ESS 6-9, N=130,117). The third study explores the linkages between individual immigrants’ outcomes and host country’s macro-level characteristics through a wide range of models (ESS6-9, N\(_1\)=9,175, N\(_2\)=72 country-year contexts). Findings overall highlight, first, the complexity of integration concepts; second, the variation in integration outcomes across different dimensions; third, the continued and complex associations of immigrant parentage, including a relative second-generation advantage within otherwise vulnerable groups; and fourth, the relevance of several host country features for immigrant integration, including economic conditions, attitudes towards immigrants, and migrant integration policies. The thesis thus makes several original contributions helping to broaden the body of empirical evidence on first- and second-generation multidimensional integration in Europe, along with some informative conceptual and methodological insights. With its cross-European, multidimensional, wide-ranging scope, the thesis helps fill conceptual and empirical gaps and inconsistencies within a so far rich but fragmented body of integration literature, thus helping to advance the field towards a broader, more comprehensive understanding of immigrant integration at a European level.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Social Policy, Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Funders: Other
Other Funders: University of Birmingham (Global Challenges PhD Scholarship)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration


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