Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Integrating Immigrants

The reccent swiss vote to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland has once again prodded the issue of the integration of cultural immigrants into the limelight. Its interesting how those calling the loudest for immigrants to culturally integrate often have a very bourgeois view of their own culture and its 'enlightened' values. But what is the reality of the culture that most immigrants are confronted with? Immigrants with the educational background to get good middle class jobs and wealth tend to integrate relatively more easily. But most immigrants are poor and end up living in the poorest areas of society. This excellent post by Londonistani on the Abu Muqawama Blog illustrates some of the difficulties with the concept of integration in the fringes of societies which are already experiencing social breakdown. Its a must read for anyone interested in the integration debate.


cubano said...

An interesting and insightful post. I was reminded of Clichy-sous-Bois when I was reading this. Integration in France has also been a failure and I expect the same from many other place in Europe. I have noticed that governments in Europe don't learn any lessons from these scenarios and immigration and integration programs are the usually first to get the cut whenever budgets are tight. Then they wonder why people have failed to integrate and why they are forming segregated communities of their own.

Anonymous said...


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Anonymous said...


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