Cities, migrant incorporation and ethnicity : A network perspective on boundary work
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Working Papers MAPS ;5
In this article, I am interested in the different types of boundaries emerging in a city that is characterized by a highly diverse population. The analysis of the personal social networks of 250 inhabitants of a small Swiss city – different types of migrants as well as non-migrants – supplemented by data from qualitative interviews, brings to light the relevant factors for the network boundaries, the social positioning, and cognitive classifications of its inhabitants. The population is organized and structured along certain dimensions that reflect patterns of boundaries as an interplay of nationality, place of birth, education, local establishment, mobility type, religion, “race,” and transnationality. It becomes clear that the common ideas of assimilation cannot grasp the complexity of the “categorical game” at place in this city when it comes to migrant’s (and non-migrant’s) incorporation.
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