Living in Two Homes

Cover of Living in Two Homes

Integration, Identity and Education of Transnational Migrants in a Globalized World

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Table of contents

(15 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xxiv
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Part I Integration

Abstract

This chapter examines the patterns of immigrants’ integration in a state of the Midwest of the United States, Indiana, which has experienced a growth of more than 250% of the foreign-born population in the last 20 years. The study, based on in-depth interviews and document analysis, examines the ways that immigrants blend into mainstream society in everyday life and in social interactions, as well as the obstacles they encounter in this process. The study reveals the cultural changes in the host culture as a result of the large number of immigrants who have established their residence in this state, the dichotomies that emerge between “natives” and “newcomers.” It also shows that immigrants stay connected to their country of origin through electronic media (in particular television and computers) and how this technology affects the process of integration. Finally, the study demonstrates that there is a process of segmented assimilation and variations in the immigrants’ sense of identity according to their socioeconomic status and ethnic background.

Abstract

Entrepreneurship, business creation and self-employment are a common pattern for immigrants’ incorporating themselves into Western receiving societies. Sociologists in North America and Western Europe have devoted much energy to explain how poor unskilled immigrants have become business-owners, thereby creating what are often referred to as ‘ethnic’ economies or ‘ethnic’ niches. This scholarship is usually dominated by two key orientations. First, it is predominantly of a socio-economic nature, with comparatively little attention to the cultural implications of business; and second, it is embedded in an ‘ethnic’ approach, according to which ethnicity (broadly defined as individuals’ belonging to a specific social groups) is a key explanatory factor. By contrast, this chapter aspires to shed light on ‘mixed cultural competencies’ in entrepreneurship: this points to the way business relies upon the in-betweeness of entrepreneurs and their capacity to successfully conciliate ethnic and non-ethnic resources. It does so through the ethnographic description of a small number of shops held by German-Turkish businesspeople situated in multiethnic neighbourhoods of Berlin.

Abstract

Italian trade unions have long since promoted the defense and inclusion of immigrant workers through the promotion, within their organizations, of specific services for immigrants providing information, guidance, and bureaucratic assistance, thus enhancing the growth of immigrant members within the unions. However, only recently unions have started to promote the direct participation of immigrants in their organization. This chapter focuses on the chances of mobility and career of immigrant workers offered by unions, starting from the role of union delegate. The analysis is based on empirical research, conducted in Lombardy between 2011 and 2013, on Cgil and Cisl, the two major Italian unions. The attention to the active participation of foreign workers within the organization is still low and not widespread, but mostly limited to categories with higher presence of immigrant workers and where the board is ready to grab the opportunities offered by the appointment of immigrant unionists and to guarantee them equal chances of union career. This situation, in our opinion, promotes immigrants’ acquisition of union roles and credibility, thus paving the way of internal mobility and career opportunities in the union.

Abstract

The integration of migrants into the society of the host country is one of today’s greatest challenges. Recent increases in the number of newcomers are creating great challenges for European nation-states that are receiving migrants, especially for those countries that traditionally do not define themselves as multicultural societies. In order to help newcomers’ economic and social integration into the host country, their specific characteristics, which result from their linguistic and cultural background, need to be considered. Furthermore, migration is often stressful, and it often acts as a stress factor that contributes to lowered mental health (Bhugra, 2004). Thus, migrants’ inclusion into the mental health-care system of the host country is not only essential to prevent lowered mental health, but might serve as an indicator of their integration into the country’s national institutions as well.

This chapter examines migrants’ subjective notions of integration and their psychological well-being in Germany. The first part of this chapter reviews previous research on migrants’ integration in Germany and presents theoretical frameworks that aim to explain migrants’ integration and psychological adaptation. The second part of the chapter describes an empirical study conducted among psychotherapy patients with a migrant background, and discusses migrants’ subjective notions of integration and psychological well-being in the German mental health-care system.

Abstract

Until the early 1970s the infamous ‘White Australia Policy’ restricted certain types of migrants from entering Australia, particularly those of Asian background, with the goal of creating an ‘Anglo-Celtic’ Australian nation. Post-war mass migration, mostly from Europe, had a significant impact on the ethnic composition of the population. Despite attempts to enforce a mostly ‘British’ migration, the resulting programme would see migrants come from many non-British source countries. This ultimately pressured the government into recognition of cultural diversity and eventually in the early 1970s through the proposition of a multicultural approach. In 1973 multiculturalism was officially introduced slowly becoming a defining national asset. From 1933 to 2001, Italians were the second largest migrant group contributing to Australia’s cultural ‘make-up’, right after the ‘Anglo-Celtic’ segment of the overseas-born population (UK, New Zealand and Ireland). However, the Italian migration of the 1950s and 1960s is a closed chapter of Australian migration history, and Australia now embraces migration from countries where it was initially rejected in the pre-1970s period – Asians, particularly those from China and India. While looking at the specific cases of Italian and Chinese settlement in Australia, this chapter also provides an historical overview of Australian migration policies. We argue that the gradual inclusion of non-British migrants in Australia has been guided since 1901 Federation by a form of ‘economic opportunism’ rather than a real intention to change the ethnic make-up of the population and identity of the nation. Despite forming and maintaining strategic partnerships with Asian countries, migration to Australia is still dominated by the need to preserve a distinctive ‘Anglo-Celtic’ character.

Part II Identity

Abstract

This chapter presents findings of an ongoing project on the social construction of ethnic identity among young Kurdish immigrants living in Turkey. The chapter begins with information on Kurdish culture. The second part overviews the difficult relations between the Turkish state and Kurds since establishment of the Republic in 1923. The third section describes the education system in the country and in Istanbul specifically. Historical ties between the Istanbul and Kurdish culture are also mentioned. The chapter closes with research that focuses on problems of Kurdish educational experiences in Turkey and preservation of their cultural identity in Istanbul. The study shows that on the one hand public education is perceived by the Kurds in Turkey as a discriminatory entity but on the other hand nonpublic educational opportunities in Istanbul help Kurdish migrants preserve and practice their cultural identity.

Abstract

This chapter compares four dimensions of ethnic identity construction among youth in two ethnically diverse schools, one in the inland city of Lillehammer and one in Oslo, Norway. In Lillehammer children of immigrant origin are in the minority, while at the place Furuset in Oslo they are in the majority. The first dimension deals with how children of immigrant origin experience having “one foot in two cultures.” The second dimension concerns the importance of appearance regarding skin color, while the third concerns the importance of appearance through clothing. The last dimension concerns proficiency in the Norwegian language. The chapter suggests that the answer to the question “Always a foreigner?” is not a clear “yes” or “no,” it depends on the social context. Most children of immigrant origin, at both schools, try to act out Norwegian identities in some contexts and foreign ethnic identities in others. However, it appears that belonging and social inclusion in Norwegian contexts are best achieved by children of immigrant origin who are in the minority and who apply assimilation strategies – that is, who try to act and pass as Norwegian. If assimilation strategies are needed for experiencing belonging and inclusion, more knowledge and education is needed in Norwegian schools on values of tolerance and creative potentiality of ethnic and cultural diversity in both local and national contexts.

Abstract

This chapter examines the integration between Brazilian migrants in Japan and other Brazilians living in the United States and Europe. It focuses on the role played by some big ethnic Brazilian events as the most visible and palpable facets of the transnational diasporic networks. These diasporic, cross-border events might be creating consistent transnational social spaces among Brazilians throughout the world. The author has done participant observation at four key diasporic events: a media event (Brazilian Day), a political event (Brasileiros no Mundo), a business event (Expo Business), and a cultural event (Focus Brasil). The goal was to map the flow of information, influence, and intersection among these events and their promoters. The study found that these events are deeply interdependent and the synergy among them – along with the role played by diasporic media – has strengthened a diaspora consciousness, a sense of belonging to the same diaspora, despite the peculiarities of Brazilians who live in different countries or regions. The chapter also discusses how do these new diasporic developments affect the integration of Brazilians who live in Japan. The cases shown in this chapter prove that there are vibrant interactions besides the “home country” versus “host country” dichotomy.

Abstract

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.

Part III Education

Abstract

Integration is a fundamental mandate of schooling in democratic and differentiated societies. This chapter analyzes the consequences generated by an increase in number of students without Italian citizenship in Italian schools, and the development of multiethnic classrooms. When non-Italian pupils comprise >25–50% of the pupils in classrooms, it’s worth questioning: Are these classrooms segregated? Which factors affect school integration and for whom? The chapter presents the results of the first survey on classrooms with a “high density” of students with an immigrant background carried out in Italy. This study is based on a sample of 1,040 students enrolled in lower secondary education in Lombardy. We use statistical indicators related to two dimensions of integration: (a) the institutional dimension (school access and achievement), and (b) the relational dimension (well-being and absence of conflicts among peers). Data analysis included indexes and a correlation matrix between indexes, regression analysis, and cluster analysis. Results demonstrate a positive correlation between the rate of non-native students in the classroom and low degree of integration, but also the complexity of factors at stake such as gender imbalance and the high concentration of students whose families have a low Socio-Economic Status (SES), independently from citizenship. These results enabled us to de-construct the concept of school integration, identifying a plurality of integrative factors and providing suggestions for intervention.

Abstract

As Canadian universities increasingly serve diverse student populations, there is a need to understand the experiences of racialized students, including their experiences of bias and perception of the quality of postsecondary education. We utilize qualitative interviews with 38 ‘Asian-Canadian’ undergraduate students at a Canadian university as a case study to explore challenges to identity expression, strategies to earn admission, and campus resources. The findings reveal that students’ perceive stereotyping. They point to their families as preparing them for university admission as well as describing extracurricular endeavours and international baccalaureate education as helping them meet admission requirements. Study participants described challenges in university, including accessing some services. The findings are limited in the sense of not being able to distinguish whether the concerns related to access to resources was unique to these students or the broader student population. More research is needed on the experience of racialized students in Canadian postsecondary institutions.

About the Editors

Pages 313-314
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About the Authors

Pages 315-320
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Index

Pages 321-326
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Cover of Living in Two Homes
DOI
10.1108/9781786357816
Publication date
2017-04-10
Editors
ISBN
978-1-78635-781-6
eISBN
978-1-78635-781-6