Migrants’ Multi-Sited Social Lives

Interactions between Sociocultural Integration and Homeland Engagement

Abstract

This paper challenges the assimilationist assumption that suggests migrants cannot be simultaneously embedded in multiple societies. Based on survey data collected among Afghan, Burundian, Ethiopian and Moroccan migrants in the Netherlands, the paper shows that overall sociocultural integration in the Netherlands and sociocultural homeland engagement are significantly positively correlated. Moreover, it demonstrates that migrants with more contact with their co-ethnics in the Netherlands tend to engage more in sociocultural activities oriented towards their home country. Besides, the influence of favourable political and security situations and economic prospects in the home countries is brought to the fore in relation to migrant groups’ sociocultural homeland engagement. The paper consequently highlights the prevalence of transnational ways of living and calls for theoretical adjustments in line with migrants’ multi-sited social lives and more inclusive policy approaches that recognize the relevance of dual-citizenship in this contemporary context.

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Correspondence to Özge Bilgili.

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Bilgili, Ö. Migrants’ Multi-Sited Social Lives. CMS 2, 283–304 (2014). https://doi.org/10.5117/CMS2014.3.BILG

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Keywords

  • Transnationalism
  • sociocultural integration
  • homeland engagement
  • return visits
  • migrants in the Netherlands