Social integration in the context of the new patterns of migration


Politikas rekomendāciju sērijā — īsi praktiski secinājumi par galveniem migrācijas pētījumu virzieniem


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  • The study confirms the premise that has recently also been increasingly voiced in foreign publications, that the host society plays the most important role in fostering integration. In order to avoid the isolation of migrants in professional, international or ethnic bubbles, it is important to provide opportunities for meaningful contacts with the local community and to promote openness. The bonds of friendship that develop can encourage migrants to become more deeply rooted in the host society.
  • Secondly, the analysis clearly shows that when the future of a migrant, including the length and possibility of remaining in a given country, is uncertain, the motivation to invest time and effort in integration is reduced. It is therefore important on the part of the state to give migrants as much long-term certainty as possible and a more stable basis for planning their future whenever possible.
  • Thirdly, there is a need to review integration indicators traditionally used in international comparisons (e.g. MIPEX) in the context of today’s complex migration patterns. The findings call for ‘more mobile thinking’ (Shubin & Dickey, 2013) and a relationship-based, dynamic and transformative interpretation of integration that takes into account the unpredictable trajectories of mobility and integration and recognises the diverse needs of migrants.
  • Fourth, it is desirable that attempts to promote integration become more holistic, open and «migrant-centred». Rather than trying to squeeze migrants into a formally defined ‘framework’, it is necessary to listen to and take into account their different expectations, to help them experience their roots, to support their life strategies and to exploit the potential of international mobility. This is the only way to reduce the politicised nature of integration, the assimilationist orientation and the disconnection of integration indicators from the real experience of migrants.
  • Finally, the proposed conceptual model can help theorists to better illustrate contemporary migrants’ adaptation processes beyond the outdated and inappropriate narratives of ‘assimilationism’ and ‘multiculturalism’.
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