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Measuring Community Integration of Lusophone West African Immigrant Populations Through Needs Assessment, Human Security, and Realistic Conflict Theory

Abstract

This article describes the process of developing and validating an immigrant community integration factor score from three different indicators based on three theories: human security, needs assessment, and realistic conflict. Over twenty days in May/June of 2015, fifty-seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with Bissau-Guinean immigrants on Boa Vista and Santiago Islands of Cabo Verde in West Africa to pilot test this instrument. Questions asked measured study participants’ needs assessment, human security levels, and conflict experiences. These findings demonstrate the applicability of combining these three indicators into an aggregate integration score, validated through confirmatory factor analysis using partial least squares path modeling. This article shows how the immigrant community integration factor score accounts for the situational context, in this case, increasing population and resource pressures leading to tension, conflict, and outbursts of violence before various institutional and policy interventions calmed the situation. While this study serves as a test case, we are confident that the validated integration score can serve as an effective proxy for measuring the level of comprehensive community integration not along individual acculturation indices, but according to broader human security and conflict potential at the community level.

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Notes

  1. Stereotypical images of African immigrants as persons who steal jobs, depress salaries, and increase criminal activities are widespread (Jung 2015).

  2. databank.worldbank.org/data/download/GNIPC.pdf

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the former Vice President for Research at Kennesaw State University, Dr. Charles J. Amlaner, as well as the Graduate College for providing a Summer Graduate Research Assistantship for the project. Also, thanks to our research assistants and translators as well as all those who agreed to participate in the research project. We would also like to thank Yan Wang, a Ph.D. student in the Analytics and Data Science program at Kennesaw State University, for her help with the statistical models.

Funding

Funding for this study was provided by a 2015 Office of the Vice President for Research Pilot/Seed Grant to Attract External Funding award from Kennesaw State University.

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Lundy, B.D., Darkwah, K. Measuring Community Integration of Lusophone West African Immigrant Populations Through Needs Assessment, Human Security, and Realistic Conflict Theory. Int. Migration & Integration 19, 513–526 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-018-0551-7

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Keywords

  • Community integration score
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Cabo Verde
  • Realistic conflict theory
  • Needs assessment
  • Human security
  • Immigration
  • Labor migration