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Changes in the Personal Networks of Young Immigrants in Sweden

Living in Two Homes

ISBN: 978-1-78635-782-3, eISBN: 978-1-78635-781-6

Publication date: 10 April 2017


In this chapter, we focus on the social integration of young immigrants in Sweden who themselves and/or one or both of their parents came from Iran or former Yugoslavia. In particular, we look at the share of alters in their core networks who are of the same parental national origin and how this has changed within a period of four years. To explain network changes, we consider the parental national origin similarity among them, changes in opportunities to meet network members, and important life events.

We analyzed two waves of survey data collected in 2010 and 2014 from 1,537 individuals who live in Sweden and who were all born in 1990, including 325 immigrants from Iran, 447 immigrants from former Yugoslavia, and 805 native Swedes. The results indicate that: (a) the share of parental national origin similar alters in the core networks of immigrants significantly increases over time, (b) first-generation immigrants in particular increasingly associate with others who are of the same parental national origin, (c) important life events hardly result in network changes, and (d) schools and work places are social contexts that enhance the social integration of immigrants, because in these contexts immigrants meet and engage in personal relationships with individuals who do not share their parental national origin.



Mollenhorst, G., Edling, C. and Rydgren, J. (2017), "Changes in the Personal Networks of Young Immigrants in Sweden", Espinoza-Herold, M. and Contini, R.M. (Ed.) Living in Two Homes, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 223-249.



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