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The socio-cultural integration of immigrants in Germany: changes across generations

Eleftherios Giovanis (Department of International Trade and Business, Bakircay Universitesi, Izmir, Turkey)
Sacit Hadi Akdede (Department of Economics, Bakircay Universitesi, Izmir, Turkey)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 14 December 2022

Issue publication date: 28 March 2023




Previous studies have used language proficiency, citizenship, labour indicators, educational outcomes and political rights as measures of migrants’ socio-cultural integration. However, little is known about the migrants’ participation in volunteering activities, music concerts, theatrical plays and artistic activities, among others, and how this is compared to the participation of natives, defined as people of German descent and born in Germany. The study aims to investigate and compare the cultural and social involvement between migrants and natives.


The analysis relies on information from the German Socio-Economic Panel Survey (GSOEP). Panel data models, in particular, the random-effects ordered Logit model, are utilised because the investigated outcomes are recorded in frequency and are ordered variables. The authors compare the participation in socio-cultural activities among immigrants of the first, second and 2.5 generations.


The findings indicate that first-generation immigrants are less likely to engage in various socio-cultural activities. However, the 2.5 generation immigrants are more active than the native population, as this generation of immigrants participates more frequently.

Social implications

The findings highlight the importance of fostering interaction between natives and immigrants in the workplace and the social and cultural realms. Participation in social and cultural activities may increase intercultural awareness and contribute to the eradication of bias and prejudice.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to use a large panel dataset to compare the participation of natives and migrants in various social and cultural activities. In addition, this is the first study to analyse second and 2.5-generation immigrants.



This study was presented at the 21st International Conference on Cultural Economics organized by the Association for Cultural Economics International (ACEI2020+1) held on July 6-July 9, 2021, in Lille. The abstract is available at The authors would like to thank the participants of the ACEI2020+1 conference for their valuable suggestions that have improved the quality of the paper. The authors would also like to thank the Editor and two anonymous reviewers for the valuable suggestions and constructive comments that greatly contributed to the improvement of the quality of this paper. Any remaining errors or omissions remain the responsibility of the authors.

Funding: This paper has been produced benefiting from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action 2236 Co-Funded Brain Circulation Scheme2 (CoCirculation2) of TÜBİTAK (Project No: 119C017), which has been funded under the FP7-PEOPLE-2011-COFUND call of the 7th Framework Programme. The authors are grateful for the financial support received. However, the entire responsibility of the paper belongs to the owners of the paper. The financial support received from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) does not mean that the context of the paper is approved in a scientific sense by TÜBİTAK.

Data: The data used in this publication were made available to the authors by the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Berlin. The authors would like to thank Philipp Kaminsky - Alisa Fränkel at the SOEP Hotline for their support and for providing the authors the data.


Giovanis, E. and Akdede, S.H. (2023), "The socio-cultural integration of immigrants in Germany: changes across generations", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 416-433.



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